There are some things you never want to see at zero. The fuel gauge in your car, the current temperature when you need to get up and go to work, or the timer on a sports match when your team is down by one point.

But for a dedicated team of Australian clinicians and researchers, zero is exactly the number they want to see. 

They’re aiming for zero children being diagnosed with aggressive cancers; zero children facing side-effects of intensive treatments and procedures; and ultimately, zero children dying from cancer. 

In an unprecedented collaboration between the Children’s Cancer Institute and the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, The Zero Childhood Cancer program (ZERO) is revolutionising the model of care for kids with high-risk cancers. 

The basic premise of ZERO is that every child’s cancer is unique, just as every child is unique. 

It’s all about giving children smarter, targeted therapy by identifying the unique genetic changes of their cancer and using that information to identify what drugs are best placed to fight it.

By tailoring treatment to the individual, the child has the best chance for improved survivorship outcomes. 

Since its national clinical trial launched in September 2017, more than 500 children and young people with aggressive cancers have enrolled. These kids faced an uncertain future, having been given less than a 30% chance of surviving their diagnosis.

However, the impact of the trial has been remarkable. For over 70% of these patients, in under nine weeks the program has successfully identified a personalised treatment plan to target the specific genetic changes driving their unique cancer.

Put simply, there are children alive today who would have died without ZERO.

A lot of Australians don’t realise that when they play Australia’s Official Lotteries they’re contributing to important things like letting kids just be kids. And that’s a Lott more to play for.

Read more about The Lott in the community.