Paediatric Cancer Research Program

The Paediatric Cancer Research Program is a collaborative Melbourne-based initiative

Bringing together researchers and clinicians across Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Monash Children’s Hospital, Monash Children’s Cancer Centre and Monash University.

Together, our common objective is to improve outcomes in children diagnosed with cancer through innovative research into the development and progression of these diseases and identification of new and more effective therapeutic strategies.

In 2015 in Victoria alone, 156 children under the age of 14 years old and 246 adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15-24 years old were diagnosed with cancer*. Despite a >80% survival rate, many patients will suffer permanent side effects of their disease and/or treatments. The predicted increase in new cancer diagnoses (53%) and deaths (25%) in Victoria over the next 10-15 years* highlights the urgent need for researchers and clinicians to join forces to improve understanding of paediatric cancers and translate these findings into the clinic.

*Cancer Council Victoria.

The Paediatric Cancer Research Program aims to significantly contribute to the understanding of all childhood cancer. The expanding profile of research interests currently include:

‒ Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumour (AT/RT)
‒ Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG)
‒ Ependymoma
‒ Leukaemia
‒ Malignant Rhabdoid Tumour (MRT)
‒ Medulloblastoma
‒ Neuroblastoma
‒ Sarcoma’s (including Osteosarcoma)
‒ Wilm’s tumour
‒ Paediatric Cancer Precision Medicine
‒ Paediatric Cancer Tissue Banking and Model Development
‒ Molecular Profiling of Brain and CNS Malignancies

For more information on our research, please click on the member links below.

Members

Dr Beena Kumar (Principal investigator Monash Surgical Oncology Biobank/ Monash Children’s Cancer Biobank)
Prof Bryan Williams (Emeritus Director and Distinguished Scientist, Hudson Institute; Research Group Head, Cancer and Innate Immunity; Strategic Advisor, Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program)
Dr Paul Wood (Paediatric Oncologist, Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program)
Caroline Drinkwater (Precision Medicine Project Manager, Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program)
Dr Christine White (Honorary Research Associate, Genetics and Molecular Pathology)
Dr Claire Shi (Children’s Cancer Foundation PhD Student, Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program)
Dr Daniel Gough (Research Group Head, STAT Signalling Laboratory; Chief Investigator, Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program)
Dasun Fernando (PhD student, Cancer and Innate Immunity)
A/Prof Elizabeth Algar (Research Group Head, Genetics and Molecular Pathology)
Dr Jason Cain (Research Group Head, Developmental and Cancer Biology; Chief Investigator, Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program)
Naama Neeman (Head of Operations, VPCC)
Dr Nataliya Zhukova (My Room Clinical Research Fellow, Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program/Developmental and Cancer Biology)
Dr Peter Downie (Head, Monash Children’s Cancer Centre; Head of Clinical Enterprise and Chief Investigator, Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program)
Prof Ron Firestein (Centre Head, Centre for Cancer Research; Head of Research and Chief Investigator, Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program; Co-lead, Victorian Paediatric Cancer Consortium)
Sarah Parackal (Children’s Cancer Foundation PhD Student, Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program/Developmental and Cancer Biology)
Dr Sara Khan (Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation Fellow)
Dr Vijesh Vaghjiani (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Developmental and Cancer Biology)
Dr Wai Chin Chong (Postdoctoral Scientist, Developmental and Cancer Biology; Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program)
Shaye Game (PhD student, Development and Cancer Biology)
Christie Sun (PhD student, Development and Cancer Biology)
Vanessa Tsui (Postdoctoral Researcher, Functional Genomics)
Dr Yuqing Liang (Children’s Cancer Foundation PhD Student, Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program)

Affiliations and Partners

Centre for Cancer Research, Hudson Institute of Medical Research
Monash Children’s Hospital
Monash Children’s Cancer Centre, Monash Health
Genetics and Molecular Pathology, Monash Health
Monash Children’s Cancer Biobank, Monash Health
Monash University

Funding Sources

National Health & Medical Research Council
Monash Comprehensive Cancer Consortium
Australian Lions Childhood Cancer Research Foundation
Australasian Sarcoma Study Group
Bailey’s Day
Children’s Cancer Foundation
The Robert Connor Dawes Foundation (RCD Foundation)
The Cure Starts Now: Australia
Isabella and Marcus Foundation
Victoria Cancer Agency

In the news

Herald Sun: ‘A fight for the kids,’ 4 October 2014
Herald Sun: ‘Cancer battle can’t conquer little Zac,’ 18 October 2014
ALCCRF Newsletter: ‘ALCCRF Fellowship,’ August 2015
Herald Sun: ‘Children with common brain tumour to have routine analysis under national service,’ 27 September 2016
Ten Eyewitness NEWS: ‘Cancer Fight,’ 27 September 2016
7 NEWS: 27 September 2016
Hudson News (summer edition): ‘Australian first – crucial service to help children with brain tumours,’ 3 November 2016
ALCCRF Newsletter: ‘Appointment of ALCCRF Clinical Research Fellow at Monash
Children’s Hospital and Hudson Institute of Medical Research,’ June 2016