Solving Kids’ Cancer UK partners with Daily Express to ‘Back Britain to Beat Childhood Cancer’

Solving Kids’ Cancer UK, in partnership with the Daily Express, is calling on the UK government to commit to a long-term investment in childhood cancer research, starting with financial support for the UK to lead Europe in a transatlantic clinical trial of the bivalent vaccine for children with high-risk neuroblastoma.

Earlier this year, we supported a number of families in their mission to gain government support for more trials for children with cancer to be conducted here in the UK. In particular, our call was for the UK government to support an international clinical trial of the bivalent vaccine in high-risk neuroblastoma – an experimental treatment currently being trialled in the US with the hope that it will cure more children by preventing their disease from returning. To access this trial, families face the daunting prospect of having to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds whilst also dealing with the enormous practical and emotional burdens of caring for a child with cancer. 

After a productive cross-party roundtable discussion on the subject back in June, we were eager to engage directly with policy-makers in Westminster. Unfortunately, the political uncertainty that followed made it impossible for further progress to be made. Now, however, we are relaunching our campaign, as we refuse to let this important issue and the momentum we’ve gained slip away at the expense of children and families affected by cancer.

This is why we’re moving this fight forward in partnership with the Daily Express. Government funding to support a clinical trial of the bivalent vaccine for children with neuroblastoma can be a turning point to accelerate progress in childhood cancer research here in the UK. If the bivalent vaccine works then we need it to be approved and available to all children free on the NHS as soon as possible. The only way for this to happen is to prove its effectiveness by conducting a well-designed, properly funded, international clinical trial.

Our wider aim is to see a genuine commitment from the UK government to help build and sustain the level of infrastructure that we so desperately need to support world-leading clinical research for children’s cancers in the UK – that will ultimately make a real difference to the lives of those affected. We are entering an era where transatlantic collaboration is becoming ever more crucial in the fight to improve survival for children with cancer. This is a chance for the UK to seize the opportunity to lead the way in Europe, and coordinate efforts to build an enduring partnership with researchers in the US. Leading efforts on the bivalent vaccine will enable the UK to develop blueprints for how to conduct more of these kinds of clinical trials in the future to help children with other types of cancer. 

In the first instance, we are calling on the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, to meet with us alongside families and professionals from our community, to gain expert insights into the issues facing children’s cancers.