Dialog Box

29 April 2020

Zero Childhood Cancer continues fight to help seriously ill kids with $600,000 donation

A world-leading personalised medicine program being developed in Australia to save children battling aggressive cancer has today received a $600,000 donation from the Lott.

The donation from the Lott, the home of Australia’s official lotteries, includes some Golden Casket unclaimed prize money.

Cancer remains the biggest killer of Australian children from disease. The Zero Childhood Cancer Program is Australia’s first personalised medicine treatment program and is focussed on children diagnosed with cancer who have been given a less than a 30% chance of survival.

Led by the Children’s Cancer Institute and the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, The Zero Childhood Cancer Program brings together all major Australian clinical and research centres working in childhood cancer.

Since its national clinical trial launched in September 2017, over 300 children and young people with aggressive cancer have been enrolled. For 74% of these patients, the program has successfully identified a personalised treatment plan aimed to target the specific genetic changes driving their cancer, in just nine weeks.

Children’s Cancer Institute’s Executive Director Professor Michelle Haber AM said she hoped the information they were gathering from the Program would not only help them cure childhood cancer, but also one day prevent it.

“The Zero Childhood Cancer Program can provide exciting new options where standard treatments have failed. For the first time we have a real chance to defeat aggressive childhood cancers, and it’s donations like this one today that can make this happen,” she said.

Senior Oncologist Professor Glenn Marshall AM said the program was providing hope for children with cancer in Australia for whom conventional therapy is not expected to lead to a cure.

“The Zero Childhood Cancer Program is the epitome of research translated into clinical practice – true bench to bedside science,” he said.

The Lott’s $600,000 contribution will be used to fund the national clinical trial which will see 400 children join by the end of the year.

The Lott Managing Director Sue van der Merwe said Australia’s official lotteries was honoured to be part of this truly revolutionary journey towards curing childhood cancer.

“This partnership continues a long-held tradition for Australian lotteries of funding vital medical initiatives,” she said.

“We’re committed to giving back to the communities in which we operate and tackling childhood cancer is something we are particularly passionate about.

“This program is giving new hope to families and children going through an unimaginable ordeal.

“We want more children with cancer to have the opportunity to access personalised cancer treatment plans and with today’s $600,000 donation, along with the incredible work from the research and medical partners, that will be possible.”

Children who are enrolled in The Zero Childhood Cancer Program have a sample of their cancer sent to Children’s Cancer Institute, where the latest technology is used to analyse the tumour’s genetic and biological make up.

By analysing each child’s unique cancer cells and finding therapies that specifically target these cells, the program gives each child the best chance of survival while minimising their risk of debilitating side effects.

Sydney mother Vivian Rosati said The Zero Childhood Cancer Program saved the life of her son Jack, 13.

“Donations like this one today means that other families like ours will have the same chance. Programs like Zero Childhood Cancer give families hope where there would overwise be none,” she said.

The sign of Australia’s Official Lotteries, the Lott unites Australian lottery brands including Tatts, NSW Lotteries, Golden Casket and SA Lotteries under one banner. It operates and markets Australia’s leading lottery games customers know and love creating everyday winners, winning every day.

In the 12 months to 30 June 2018, 74 million winners took home a total of $2.7 billion in prize money from their favourite games which include Saturday Gold Lotto, Monday and Wednesday Gold Lotto, Powerball, Oz Lotto, Set for Life, Lucky Lotteries, Keno and Instant Scratch-Its.


Lauren Cooney
Matthew Hart
the Lott
the Lott
Public Relations Executive  
Head of Public Relations
0457 759 945
0412 404 626

About the Zero Childhood Cancer Program 

The Zero Childhood Cancer Program is the most exciting childhood cancer research initiative ever undertaken in Australia. This world-class program brings together all major Australian clinical and research groups working in childhood cancer to offer Australia’s first ever personalised medicine program for children with high-risk or relapsed cancer.

Led by Children’s Cancer Institute and The Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, part of The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, The Zero Childhood Cancer Program is an unprecedented collaboration that stands to revolutionise the way childhood cancer is treated, and represents an integral step towards curing every child.

The capacity campaign that supports The Zero Childhood Cancer Program, is run in partnership between Children's Cancer Institute and Sydney Children's Hospitals Foundation, aims to raise $12 million, by engaging visionary corporates, foundations and philanthropists.

For more information visit

About Children’s Cancer Institute 

Originally founded by two fathers of children with cancer in 1976, Children’s Cancer Institute is the only independent medical research institute in Australia wholly dedicated to research into the causes, prevention and cure of childhood cancer. Forty years on, our vision is to save the lives of all children with cancer and improve their long-term health, through research. The Institute has grown to now employ nearly 300 researchers, operational staff and students, and has established a national and international reputation for scientific excellence.

Our four leading researchers are Members of the Order of Australia and are acknowledged worldwide for their contribution to childhood cancer research. Our focus is on translational research, and we have an integrated team of laboratory researchers and clinician scientists who work together in partnership to discover new treatments which can be progressed from the lab bench to the beds of children on wards in our hospitals as quickly as possible. These new treatments are specifically targeting childhood cancers, so we can develop safer and more effective drugs and drug combinations that will minimise side-effects and ultimately give children with cancer the best chance of a cure with the highest possible quality of life.

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About Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick 

The Kids Cancer Centre (KCC) at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick has been treating children with cancer and blood diseases in NSW, Australia and the Asia-Pacific region for nearly 50 years. Almost two thirds of children treated for cancer or leukaemia at the Centre are enrolled on clinical trials, in a unique model where research and clinical care are one, ensuring the best possible care for children and their families. During that time the survival rates for children with cancer have gone from 10 per cent to nearly 80 per cent.

Clinical and research staff from the Centre have made major international and national contributions to the expansion of knowledge in the area: from important discoveries around bone marrow transplantation, chemotherapy for relapsed solid tumours and leukaemia, to the invention of novel anti-cancer drug combinations and minimal residual disease testing in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Centre staff have been leaders in devising new methods of outreach and home nursing, and in developing modern approaches to the bereaved family.

These achievements have been founded on academic excellence and clinical expertise. In the past five years alone, the Centre’s staff have published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals and been awarded more than $60 million in competitive grant funding. The past 20 years has also seen a total of eight clinical staff receive the Order of Australia honours for their work.

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Category: News