Freemasons donate to Institute of Cancer Research

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has donated to The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) to develop a blood test for childhood cancer. The grant of £72,000 will fund a project to help researchers understand more about the biology of children’s cancers. The aim is to develop simpler tests that will remove the need for painful tumour biopsies and lead to more effective and kinder treatments for children. 

Currently, children still tend to be treated with nonspecific and toxic chemotherapy drugs, originally designed for adults. 

The ICR has been working with Christopher’s Smile, to help develop better targeted treatments. In 2013 Christopher’s Smile funded a Paediatric Molecular Pathologist at the ICR, to identify the most appropriate children for clinical trials. More recently, the charity funded research to investigate biological features and genes involved in childhood cancer.

Professor Louis Chesler, from The Institute of Cancer Research, London said: “Here at The Institute of Cancer Research we are working on safer and kinder treatments for children with cancer – that we are able to do so is in no small part thanks to our donors. This award from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity will help us to develop tests that will help researchers understand the genetic make-up of a child’s cancer. We are enormously grateful for this support.”

Laura Chapman, Chief Executive of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, said: “Childhood cancers are the principal cause of death from disease between infancy and adulthood, with 1,600 children diagnosed each year in the UK. Statistics show that 70-80% of children survive but many will suffer from side-effects and in some cases, life-changing disabilities. This vital research is a step towards discovering vital information that will hopefully limit the debilitating effects this disease has on children.”