Friends of Rosie update

August 18, 2022

Exchange Chambers’ official charity partner, Friends of Rosie, recently brought together 40 of the world’s top researchers and clinicians from across the UK, Europe and North America to discuss how to improve treatment for children with cancer.

The international childhood cancer workshop was held in Manchester and came less than two months after MPs listened to impassioned pleas in the House of Commons for a concerted effort to bring together the very best in research, training, and treatment. The aim is to change the approach to childhood cancer once and for all.

Participants brainstormed how to improve the diagnosis and treatment of children’s cancers using state-of-the-art molecular diagnostics. Their goal is to better tailor novel drug treatments to individual children according to the genetic markers present in their tumours. We call this “precision medicine”.

During lively interactive discussions, attendees presented new technical advances in detecting these genetic markers. They focused particularly on how to use a patient’s blood sample, rather than often painful attempts to gather pieces of a tumour.

Friends of Rosie Trustee and Ewing Sarcoma survivor, Mahesh Vara, spoke at the event.

She commented: “It was a real privilege to speak at the Workshop. I appreciated the opportunity to share my experience of childhood cancer with those that attended. I am hopeful for the future. Workshops like this mark another step towards changing the approach to childhood cancer treatment, care and diagnosis. We continue to make a concerted effort to bring together the very best in research, training, and treatment.”