New research has projected Australia’s rates of childhood cancer will continue to climb over the next 15 years.

By 2035, as many as 1060 Aussie kids under 15 years of age could be diagnosed with cancer each year, and although diagnostic improvements may account for some of the increase, the reasons for the rise largely remains a mystery. 

It’s a concerning trend leaving medical experts searching for an explanation. 

In adults, we understand that some cancers develop as a result of lifestyle and environmental factors. However, in kids we simply don’t know what causes most cases of cancer. Instances of childhood brain cancer are particularly troubling as the disease claims the life of one Australian child every nine days — more than any other disease. 

Further research is urgently needed, a fact that has become even more pressing in light of these recent findings. 

The good news is that Australia’s top medical researchers are leading the fight to reverse the rising rates, helped by a $500,000 contribution made by the Lott to the new Centre for Child and Adolescent Brain Cancer Research (CCABCR) last July. 

The donation, funded by unclaimed prize money through Golden Casket, aimed to unite the best of the best in pediatric cancer research to bring new hope to Aussie kids living with brain cancer. Six months later, work is well underway. 

Professor Brandon Wainwright, the Centre’s Research Director, is working to give children with medulloblastoma (one of the most common types of cancerous brain tumour) their best chance of survival, without painful and toxic side effects. This crucial research is one of many ongoing projects at the centre. 

“Scientific and clinical research is the only way we can change outcomes for children battling brain cancer,” Wainwright said.  

“Following the release of recent research showing the rate of cancer in Australian children is increasing, now more than ever is the time to donate to children’s cancer research.”