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Childhood cancer
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Childhood cancer

Childhood cancer requires specific research and investigation, as it is completely different from adult cancer. 

  1. It occurs much less frequently.
  2. It cannot be prevented.
  3. It responds very differently to treatment.
  4. Treatments used on adult cancers barely affect childhood cancers, or not at all.

That's why results from adult cancer investigations are not applicable to childhood cancer and it is necessary to push for targeted research projects.

At the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital, our researchers work closely with patient-facing healthcare staff. Each time a new case is diagnosed, the tumour's characteristics are analysed in the laboratory so doctors can adjust the prognosis—how the tumour will progress, if there is an increased risk of treatment resistance, etc.—and to determine the best therapeutic strategy to combat the tumour.

In the same way, questions that are yet unanswered are passed from oncologists to researchers. For example, why do two patients with the same type of cancer respond differently to the same treatment? The work of researchers involves answering these kinds of questions, with the ultimate goal of providing the child with the best treatment.

Visit the childhood cancer research laboratory at the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital

Visita al laboratorio de investigación del cáncer infantil en el Hospital Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona

Thanks to this joint effort, and among other achievements, in the last ten years we have managed to develop animal models for several tumours, an essential step towards testing new drugs and treatments.

We have also been able to launch several innovative clinical trials, such as: the diffuse brainstem glioma trial (a tumour that currently has no cure); the oncolytic virus trial to preserve the eye in children with retinoblastomas, an eye tumour that only affects the infant population; or the increasingly-popular CAR-T immunotherapy trial, in which the SJD Barcelona Children's Hospital was the first healthcare facility in Spain to apply the trial to children.

We are also working on a new clinical trial for patients with very aggressive neuroblastomas, with a view to studying the efficacy of a drug indicated for another disease, with preliminary findings suggesting that this drug can slow the growth of this particular tumour.

As a result of these efforts, survival rates among our patients are consistently increasing, and, in cases with no cure, the affected children have a longer and better-quality life.

Help us research childhood cancer

Help us research childhood cancer

With your help, we can continue learning and trying to find a cure for this disease.