FACTS

 

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  • Childhood Cancer
    • Leading cause of all children’s disease related deaths combined
    • PYLL (Potential Years Life Lost)
      • Adults = 15 years (average age of death is 67)
      • Children = 71 years (average age of death is 6)
    • The cause of most childhood cancers is unknown. Therefore, at present, these cancers cannot be prevented. Many adult cancers result from lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, occupation, and other exposure to cancer-causing agents.
    • In the 1950s, almost all kids diagnosed with cancer died.
    • Because of research, today about 85% of kids with the most common type of cancer will live.
    • For many other types, progress has been limited, and for some kids there is still little hope for a cure.
  • Brain and Central Nervous System Tumors (27% of childhood cancers), including tumors of the spinal cord
    • Tends to strike at younger ages relative to other cancers
    • Highest ratio of PYLL of any cancer
    • Only pancreatic cancer has lower survival rates for early diagnosed patients
    • Little is known about what causes brain cancer. Epidemiological research could resolve this mystery and generate leads for effective treatments.
    • For brain cancer patients, hope for survival hinges on treatment improvements that will require research funding.
  • Pediatric vs Adult Brain Cancers
    • 90% of adult tumors arise in the cerebral cortex, 50% of childhood brain tumors originate in lower portions of the brain, in the cerebellum, brain stem, or fourth ventricular region.
    • A large proportion of brain tumors in adults are the result of metastatic lesions from non-primary brain sites
      • In contrast, childhood brain tumors mainly represent primary CNS lesions
    • There are more than 120 different types of brain tumours, making effective treatment very complicated.
    • Because brain tumours are located at the control centre for thought, emotion and movement, their effects on a child’s physical and cognitive abilities can be devastating.
  • Pediatric Brain Tumor Treatment:
    • Generally a combination of radiation, chemotherapy and surgery
    • Some tumors can’t be totally resected or operated on at all due to their location
    • 5 year survival rates for high grade malignant tumors remains low despite technological advances
    • Quality of life for survivors of pediatric brain tumours is influenced by the terrible long-term side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Research for Pediatric Brain Cancer Research is Underfunded
    • < 4% of Canadian federal funding for cancer research goes to all childhood cancers combined
    • Pharmaceutical companies fund 60% of all drug development
    • Almost 0% of drug development specifically targets children’s cancers
      • It is not profitable therefore….

Research for children’s brain cancer is heavily reliant on donations from private foundations

Click Here to Learn The Types of Pediatric Brain Tumors