Our Impact

The Zero Childhood Cancer Program (ZERO) is providing hope for children with cancer in Australia, and contributing to the global childhood cancer research effort.

Changing lives

The results of the ZERO national clinical trial (2017-2020) show that it is possible to explain most children’s cancers on a molecular basis, and to use this understanding to identify potential treatment options. 

For some children enrolled on the clinical trial, the personalised treatment plan they received led to precious additional time with their families. For others, it proved nothing short of life-saving. These children’s stories show the power of ZERO as a personalised medicine program.

By recognising that each child’s cancer is unique and tailoring treatment to the individual, outcomes can be radically changed. And the more that is learned through ZERO, the more children can be helped.  

Data from the first 250 children to participate in the ZERO national clinical trial were published in October 2020 in Nature Medicine, one of the world’s leading medical research journals. These data showed:

  • ZERO successfully identified the molecular basis of cancer in more than 90% of cases
  • a personalised treatment recommendation was able to be provided for more than 70% of children, in an average turnaround time of seven weeks
  • 70% of children who received ZERO-recommended personalised treatment showed a complete or partial response, or had their disease stabilised.

“We got to celebrate another precious birthday with our son. And I hope that, because of ZERO, there will be many more to follow.” 

Viv Burai, Jack’s mum

Learning about childhood cancer

The wealth of data being gathered through ZERO is providing extraordinary insights into childhood cancer. Through the comprehensive analysis of individual tumours − right down to the level of the genes − ZERO is making a significant contribution to our understanding of childhood cancer.

Through ZERO, we are:

  • identifying new potential therapies to treat cancers for which there have been no advances in treatment or survival in decades  
  • developing new data systems capable of integrating complex research and clinical data, to improve the delivery of personalised medicine 
  • identifying cancer predisposition (heritable genetic changes likely to have led to cancer), paving the way to develop future prevention strategies. 

The results from ZERO have so far led to the opening of more than 20 new clinical trials for children with cancer. These will generate findings that add further to our understanding of childhood cancer.

We are seeing children alive today, who would not have survived without Zero Childhood Cancer.” 

Vanessa Tyrrell, Program Leader, Zero Childhood Cancer

Global significance

The wealth of data being gathered through ZERO is providing extraordinary insights into childhood cancer. Through the comprehensive analysis of individual tumours − right down to the level of the genes − ZERO is making a significant contribution to our understanding of childhood cancer.

Through ZERO, we are:

  • identifying new potential therapies to treat cancers for which there have been no advances in treatment or survival in decades  
  • developing new data systems capable of integrating complex research and clinical data, to improve the delivery of personalised medicine 
  • identifying cancer predisposition (heritable genetic changes likely to have led to cancer), paving the way to develop future prevention strategies. 

The results from ZERO have so far led to the opening of more than 20 new clinical trials for children with cancer. These will generate findings that add further to our understanding of childhood cancer.

Jack's Story

Jack was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 9 nine years old. Following surgery his prognosis was good. But just over a year later Jack relapsed, this time his tumour was aggressive and had spread throughout his brain and spine. With no other options, Jack was enrolled on the Zero Childhood Cancer Program..

Discover his story

Get in touch

Do you have a question about our work? For any enquiries please don’t hesitate to contact us.