Hudson News Winter 2023

By Rob Clancy, staff writer

Director’s message: For children with cancer, change starts here.

Childhood cancer is rare but devastating and new treatment options are desperately needed. In the last four decades the US Food and Drug Authority (FDA) has approved 500 drugs for adult cancers but just 12 to treat childhood cancers.

Professor Elizabeth Hartland, Director and CEO of Hudson Institute outlining Hudson News Winter 2023
Professor Elizabeth Hartland

Children’s cancers are not the same as adult cancers, and the impact of treatments on the developing body can lead to long term detrimental effects on survivors. We need better and more precise therapeutics to increase survival and reduce the side effects of treatment.

As you’ll read, Winter 2023 Hudson News has a focus on childhood cancer research under the leadership of Professor Ron Firestein, Head of our Centre for Cancer Research, who is also co-leader of the Victorian Paediatric Cancer Consortium (VPCC).

Our science offers hope that another child like Luca Boggia, who you’ll read more about in this edition, will benefit from improved therapies and avoid harrowing rounds of chemotherapy or radiotherapy as a result of our research.

You’ll hear more about how our Childhood Cancer Model Atlas (CCMA), the world’s largest collection of high-risk paediatric cancer cell lines, was developed at Hudson Institute, providing a unique open-source facility to paediatric oncologists and cancer researchers worldwide.

The story of the CCMA was recently published in the prestigious journal Cancer Cell, explaining how it was developed through active collaborations with 34 cancer research institutes, universities and academic medical centres. We are proud to be driving this worldwide collaborative work that will change the landscape of childhood cancer research.

While cancer affects so many lives negatively, it can also spur on amazing action. You’ll hear more about one of our incredible donors who decided to give while living to osteosarcoma research in Dr Jason Cain’s lab.

This edition has a major focus on childhood cancer, but we also feature a story on our team of researchers including PhD student Elisabeth Ng and Associate Professor Jun Yang, who are pioneering better detection and treatment of a major undiagnosed cause of hypertension, affecting around 600,000 Australians.

Your annual flu update comes from Associate Professor Michelle Tate, a leading expert on the flu and RSV viruses. She explains how to prepare and what to look out for this flu season.

You can read more about our research on our website or stay up to date with it all by subscribing to our mailing list.

For those who generously donated to our Festive Health Appeal earlier in the year, I’d also like to thank you for your support.

As we work towards innovative treatments and cures for childhood cancer, your continued support is key to ensuring that our scientists can solve important challenges like these for more children.

We hope that the updates in this newsletter inspire you to give generously to our Tax Appeal. With your commitment, together we can support the research that helps improve survival rates and quality of life for thousands of children.

With gratitude

Professor Elizabeth Hartland
Director and CEO


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