Research - Fields of action - Kinderkrebsschweiz

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Research – 
better chances of recovery and fewer late effects

Today, four out of five children and adolescents with cancer are successfully treated and cured of their cancer. Even though the chances of survival have improved thanks to medical advances, one in five children still dies of cancer and many of the survivors suffer from the late effects of the disease and therapy. Because the types of cancer children and adolescents develop are different from those contracted by adults, they need research which is specifically tailored to their needs. Childhood Cancer Switzerland supports research so that therapies can be further improved to cure even more children and keep late effects to a minimum.

Play Stop
Nannette Keller Johner, mother of Luis, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 8 (Video in German). 

“Without clinical research, Luis wouldn’t be here with us today.”

Leukaemia is one of the most common forms of childhood cancer. Nowadays, the chances of survival are good thanks to the findings of clinical trials conducted over the past decades. Nannette Keller talks about how her son Luis was cured thanks to major medical advances.  

Childhood cancer research in Switzerland

Childhood cancer is one of the rare diseases. In Switzerland, it is almost exclusively non-profit academic organisations, such as universities and children’s hospitals, that conduct research in this area. Childhood cancer research requires sufficient financial resources for children and adolescents to continue to have access to cutting-edge cancer therapies. Since state funding is not sufficient, research has to be financed with donations and external funding.

Clinical research

Clinical research aims to explore therapies and treatments in humans to improve the chances of survival and reduce long-term consequences. The knowledge gained from clinical trials helps scientists to better understand the course of cancer diseases and to develop more modern therapy methods.

Interview with Nicolas Waespe, MD

Epidemiological research   

Epidemiological childhood cancer research in Switzerland evaluates data from the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry, its own and international research projects. On the basis of such evaluations, statements can be made about the causes and development of different types of cancer as well as their progression and the effectiveness of therapies.    

Interview with Christina Schindera, MD

Basic research

Basic research in oncology contributes to a better scientific understanding and thus to the fight against cancer. In the laboratory, studies are carried out on the changes that turn healthy cells into cancer cells, how they multiply, spread in the body and react to certain treatments.

Interview with Prof. Ana Guerreiro Stücklin, MD PhD

What we do in the area of research

We fund various research projects in the field of paediatric oncology and also award an annual prize in the field of basic research to recognise innovative research projects in paediatric oncology. For the 2022 financial year, the total volume of funding contributions to paediatric cancer research amounts to around 267 694 Swiss francs. In addition, around 37 565 Swiss francs were allocated to the Fund for Basic Research to support projects.

Research projects we support: 

Our award for basic research

In order to further promote childhood cancer research, Childhood Cancer Switzerland awards an annual research prize alongside its funding of projects. The award, which is endowed with 30,000 Swiss francs, is presented every year to young scientists, who engage in outstanding and pioneering projects in basic research at Swiss research institutes or hospitals.

Research Award 2022

Research project: Changes in the metabolism of paediatric tumour cells

Together with his team, basic researcher Raphael Morscher investigates changes in the metabolism of paediatric tumour cells. He hopes to develop new therapies that specifically target the metabolism of tumour cells and have as few long-term consequences as possible. 

Research Award 2022

Research Award 2021

PhD research project: novel immunotherapy for the treatment of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS)

This innovative research project of Andrea Timpanaro from the Bern University Hospital aims to develop a novel immunotherapy for rhabdomyosarcomas (RMS). RMS are among the most common malignant soft tissue tumours in children and adolescents.

Research Award 2021

Researcg Award 2020

Pilot study for optimising paediatric brain tumour therapy

Ana Guerreiro Stücklin at the University Children’s Hospital Zurich and her team are developing an innovative precision medicine platform for therapy optimisation for children with brain tumours, focusing on those with tumours refractory or resistant to standard therapies.

Research Award 2020