Childhood cancer

Each year almost 1,000 Australian children are diagnosed with childhood cancer and 5,600 are undergoing treatment.

For every ten children diagnosed, two will not survive; and those who do suffer long-term (sometimes life-long) health issues because current therapies can affect children’s growing bodies. More precise, safer treatments for children with cancer are needed to improve survival and reduce adverse treatment impact.

Hudson Institute is a world leader in the field, building capacity and sustainability for paediatric cancer research by cultivating local, national and international partnerships, supporting educational events and training the childhood cancer leaders of tomorrow.

In Australia, more than 1,000 children and adolescents are diagnosed with cancer each year.

Cancer kills three children every week in Australia – more than any other disease.

Almost half of all children diagnosed with cancer in Australia are aged 0-4 years old.

Despite significant overall improvements in survival rates over the past 50 years, cancer remains the leading disease-related cause of death among Australian children.”
– Professor Ron Firestein

Our childhood cancer programs

Some childhood cancers have either no treatment available, or what is available hasn’t improved for more than forty years. These rare, low-survival, difficult-to-treat childhood cancers are among the specialities of Hudson Institute researchers.

View video | Childhood Cancer Model Atlas (CCMA)

Victorian Paediatric Cancer Consortium (VPCC) Next Generation Precision Medicine program

Improving survival rates and treatments for childhood, adolescent and young adult (AYA) sarcomas

Childhood acute myeloid leukaemia

Cancer immunotherapy

Paediatric cancer informatics

Our childhood cancer researchers

Professor Ron Firestein
Centre Head, Centre for Cancer Research and Co-lead, VPCC

Naama Neeman Director of Operations VPCC

Naama Neeman
Director of Operations, VPCC

Dr Jason Cain from the Developmental and Cancer Biology Research Group at Hudson Institute

Associate Professor Jason Cain
Research Group Head, Centre for Cancer Research

Professor Bryan Williams, along with Institute researchers have identified a key immune molecule that could underpin a bowel cancer breakthrough.

Professor Bryan Williams
Distinguished Scientist

Dr Catherine Carmichael is Head of the Leukaemia Modelling and Therapeutic Discovery Research group within the Centre for Cancer Research at Hudson Institute.

Dr Catherine Carmichael
Research Group Head, Centre for Cancer Research

Dr Pouya Faridi, Research Group Head, Hudson Institute

Dr Pouya Faridi
Research Group Head, Centre for Cancer Research

Dr Xin (Claire) Sun

Dr Claire Sun
Bioinformatics Team Leader

Dr Paul Daniel is a Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the Hudson Monash Paediatric Precision Medicine Program at Hudson Institute

Dr Paul Daniel
Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Vanessa Tsui, Postdoctoral Researcher, Functional Genomics - funded by Robert Connor Dawes Foundation at Hudson Institute

Dr Vanessa Tsui
Postdoctoral Researcher, Functional Genomics – funded by Robert Connor Dawes Foundation

Dr Vijesh Vaghjiani who has been awarded one of two Sarcoma Research grants by ANZSA.

Dr Vijesh Vaghjiani
Postdoctoral Scientist

Melissa Loi from the Cancer Genetics and Functional Genomics Research Group at Hudson Institute

Melissa Loi
Technical Sequencing Specialist

Monty Panday

Monty Panday
Analyst Programmer

Nicole Chew, Children's Cancer Foundation Senior Organoid Specialist

Dr Nicole Chew
Senior Organoid Specialist

Rajithri (Dilru) Habarakada

Rajithri (Dilru) Habarakada
Biobank Specialist

Vikesh Ajith from the Centre for Cancer Research at Hudson Institiute

Vikesh Ajith
Bioinformatics Research Assistant

Dr Hanbyeol Lee, Postdoctoral Scientist for the Centre for Cancer research at Hudson Institute.

Dr Hanbyeol Lee
Postdoctoral Scientist

Dr Tima Shamekhi
PhD Student, Translational Antigen Discovery Laboratory, Monash University

Samitha Amarapathy, VPCC Next Generation Precision Medicine

Samitha Amarapathy
PhD student, Faculty of IT, Monash University

Shazia Adjumain Photo

Shazia Adjumain
Gideon Gratzer PhD Scholar – funded by Robert Connor Dawes Foundation

Nataliya Zhukova from the Developmental and Cancer Biology Research Group at Hudson Institute

Dr Nataliya Zhukova
VPCC PhD Student

Yuqing Liang

Dr Yuqing Liang
Children’s Cancer Foundation PhD Student

Shaye Game from the Developmental and Cancer Biology Research Group at Hudson Institute

Shaye Game
Elliot Gautsch PhD Scholar – funded by Isabella and Marcus Foundation

Our collaborators

Prof David Eisenstat – Head, Children’s Cancer Centre, The Royal Children’s Hospital; Group Leader, Neuro-Oncology, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
A/Prof Sefi Rosenbluh – Head, Cancer Functional Genomics Laboratory, Monash University
A/Prof Peter Downie AM (MCH) – Director, Children’s Cancer Centre, Monash Children’s Hospital
A/Prof Misty Jenkins – Laboratory Head, Immunology Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
A/Prof Paul Ekert – Group Leader, Translational Tumour Biology Laboratory, Children’s Cancer Institute
Prof Roger Daly – Head, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Co-Head, Biomedicine Discovery Institute Cancer Program, Monash University

Thank you to our Major Funding Partners

Children's Cancer Foundation Logo

Thank you to our Supporters

Kids Cancer Project

Our International collaborating partners

The Childhood Cancer Model Atlas was enabled by the work of the VPCC Next Generation Precision Medicine program.

It is the world’s largest collection of high-risk paediatric solid tumour cell lines, which makes it one of the most valuable resources available for childhood cancer researchers.

Collaboration is vital to childhood cancer research, and the CCMA is no exception. It was made possible via active collaborations with 35 cancer research institutes, universities and academic medical centres.

Support for families and children with cancer

Our scientists cannot provide medical advice.
If you would like to find out more information about childhood cancer, please visit

Share this page

Image in top header: Luca Boggia-Hall, rare brain tumor survivor, playing in a park and laughing. Picture Courtesy Jason Edwards/Herald Sun