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Why Choose Pediatric Immuno-Oncology?

Hi again from India. I head home today back to Singapore, but not until having completed today's swim in that same 7 degree air temperature!

So, a couple of people have asked me why we are going to raised funds for an Immuno-oncology research program for kids!

The first reason for me, is that Sarah and I have two awesome little troops called Sophie (9) and Charlie (6). You will most certainly get to know them over the next 8 months 🤓. We found about our conception of Charlie whilst I was in the midst of Chemotherapy! Let me tell you...that was a massive source of strength for Sarah and I during a really tough time! Kids are our future. They are the reason we bless this planet.

One of the most exciting Oncology research areas of our time is immunotherapy.  Scientists and medical doctors have known for years that our bodies have sophisticated mechanisms in our immune system that can ward off illness.  Immunology is the basis for vaccines, for example — the flu vaccine teaches our body’s immune system how to fight specific strains of the flu that are most common.  More recently, research has shown that our remarkable immune system also fights cancer.  We are learning very rapidly how this works and how to harness that capability to treat some cancers.  And more and more cancers are being studied every day.  The work to fight cancer using the immune system is called immuno-oncology.  Dramatic results have been seen for patients with a variety of cancers that plague humans.

A new frontier is pediatric immuno-oncology. Kids are tough! They are tough mentally as well as physically. Imagine a world where their bodies are smart and strong enough to fight against cancer without strong, painful, debilitating drugs!

Great strides have been made in treating children with cancer in the last two decades.  Yet some cancers remain almost inevitably fatal. We know from research and treatment for adults with cancer that many immunotherapies are effective, and often they are also very effective when used with chemotherapy drugs.  But we need to know how these treatments affect our youngest people and how we can target childhood cancers, from the common to the rare, by using a child’s innate defenses.


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