Kids Cancer Research Centre

Kids Cancer Research Centre $1.5million donation, Sydney Children's Hospital:

With our $1.5million donation we were awarded Naming Rights to the new Research Centre in perpetuity.

The creation of this space is an important development in the integration of service delivery with research functions. The new Kids Cancer Research Centre, supported by Kids with Cancer Foundation, under the leadership of Prof. Glenn Marshall, is one of three strategic capital priorities which currently exist on the Randwick Campus of the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.

As you are well aware through your ongoing and generous support, the Hospital’s Centre for Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders is internationally renowned for its work in treating children with complex blood disorders and cancers. This new Centre — which has been in planning from some time — will dramatically improve our research endeavours.

The Centre will provide the best possible infrastructure for our researchers to congregate and focus on applying new therapeutic techniques and drug discovery at the clinical-face, where the majority of our work occurs. The Centre is ‘best-practice’ in terms of clinically-driven research, where a critical mass of professionals including senior clinicians, research scientists and data analysts can work together, in one space, to continue our goal of working towards 100% survival for children with cancer. Elizabeth Koff, Chief Executive, The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network (Randwick and Westmead)

Finding a better way to treat childhood cancers

 DavidZieglerOncologist Dr Ziegler is a paediatric oncologist at Sydney Children’s Hospital and a CCIA scientist.  He is the head of the clinical trials unit at the hospital within the Kids Cancer Research Centre, Supported by Kids with Cancer Foundation, and is in the process of establishing an early phase clinical trials program to test new therapies in children with incurable disease. 

His strategy is to develop the capacity to rapidly translate positive laboratory findings into clinical trials via the hospital’s early phase clinical trials Unit. This will facilitate the creation of new treatments for children who have no other effective treatment options available. 

The Kids Cancer Research Centre supported by Kids with Cancer Foundation, has commenced the first phase I/II clinical trial using a combination therapy of two existing drugs, valproate and gamma-interferon.  Both drugs have anti-cancer action but have not been used for the treatment of childhood cancer before.



A small molecule drug previously used for curing sleeping illness is now being investigated by CCIA scientists in the laboratory to see if it can help combat neuroblastoma. Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), as the drug is called, which blocks ODC1 activity, has been tested in laboratory cancer models in combination with standard chemotherapeutic drugs used to treat neuroblastoma, and has been shown to slow tumour progression much more effectively than the chemotherapy drugs used alone. 

CCIA scientists, in collaboration with researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA, have further developed this drug candidate combination so that it is ready to be trialled in children with relapsed neuroblastoma.  The trial is expected to commence in Australia and internationally within the near future. 

This trial offers a new treatment approach with an existing drug called DFMO, which hasn’t been used to treat cancer before, but is already being safely used to treat other diseases. 

DFMO switches off key processes in a cancer cell that are essential for their growth. Researchers have found that when DFMO is used in combination with traditional chemotherapy drugs, it is extremely effective at blocking the cancer’s growth and progression. 

The clinical trial, developed from research conducted at the Children's Cancer Institute, is an international collaboration being run across 16 hospitals in Australia and The United States. 

This research is also being led in Australia by Dr David Ziegler, at the Sydney Children’s Hospital'sKids Cancer Research Centre, supported by Kids with Cancer Foundation and at the Cancer Institute. 

The research being undertaken is ground breaking and we urge you to support these research initiatives to find a better way to treat all childhood cancers.  Please donate, post cheques to: Kids with Cancer Foundation, PO Box 135 Westmead NSW 2145 or for credit cards: free-call any donations to 1800 255522, and we guarantee that 100% of these donations will be passed to families, or use this Donate now button or at the top of the page.


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