A game-changing approach to treating childhood cancer is being developed in Australia with a clear and inspiring goal: reduce child cancer deaths to zero. 

In an unprecedented initiative between major clinical and research groups, The Zero Childhood Cancer Program is a world-leading program offering Australia’s first ever personalised medicine program for children with high-risk or relapsed cancer.

The power of the program lies in collaboration— not just with leading national and international medical and research experts, but also with funding partners whose support is helping to change the model of care for children with cancer. 

We are proud to be one such partner and this week announced our $600,000 contribution to help ensure the continued success of The Zero Childhood Cancer Program and its revolutionary work. The support includes funding from Golden Casket unclaimed prize money.

The Lott Managing Director Sue van der Merwe said the partnership with the Zero Childhood Program continued a long-held tradition of Australia’s official lotteries funding vital medical initiatives. 

“We’re committed to giving back to the communities in which we operate and achieving better outcomes for childhood cancer is something we are particularly passionate about. 

“This program is giving new hope to families and children going through an unimaginable ordeal.

“We want more children with cancer to have the opportunity to access personalised cancer treatment plans and with today’s $600,000 donation, along with the incredible work from the research and medical partners, that will be possible.”

Senior Oncologist Professor Glenn Marshall AM said the Program was providing hope for children with cancer in Australia for whom conventional therapy is not expected to lead to a cure.

“The Zero Childhood Cancer Program is the epitome of research translated into clinical practice – true bench to bedside science,” he said. 

Children who are enrolled in The Zero Childhood Cancer Program have a sample of their cancer sent to Children’s Cancer Institute, where the latest technology is used to analyse the tumour’s genetic and biological make up. 

By analysing each child’s unique cancer cells and finding therapies that specifically target these cells, the program gives each child the best chance of survival while minimising their risk of debilitating side effects.

Since the national clinical trial launched in September 2017, over 300 children and young people with aggressive cancer have been enrolled. For 74% of these patients, the program has successfully identified a personalised treatment plan aimed to target the specific genetic changes driving their cancer, in just nine weeks.

The $600,000 contribution will be used to fund the national clinical trial which will see 400 children join by the end of the year.

Cancer kills more Australian children than any other disease. We’re proud to support a program that will give hope to the hundreds of Aussie children who are diagnosed with cancer each year.