FAQs for Parents and Families

What is the aim of the trial?

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The aim of ZERO is to find out whether analysing each individual child’s cancer in the laboratory can help us find the best treatment for each child.

We look closely at your child’s tumour sample (including the genes and other types of molecules inside the cancer cells) to see if we can find out which treatment may be best suited to your child – the one that is most likely to work.

Is my child eligible for the trial?

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All children are eligible to be enrolled on the ZERO program, irrespective of their type of cancer, or where they are on their cancer journey. For more information about the trial, and to find out if ZERO is an appropriate option for your child, please speak to your child’s oncologist.

Will my child get access to experimental drugs?

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ZERO is not a drug trial – it is a trial to find out whether studying the genes and other molecules inside a child’s cancer can help us find the best possible treatment for that child.

In some cases, it may be that the recommended treatment is an experimental drug. If this is the case for your child, your child’s treating doctor will discuss this with you, and you can decide whether you want to go ahead with that treatment recommendation or not.

How can I enrol my child?

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If you would like your child to take part in the trial, please see your treating oncologist.

What are the risks? Could my child be worse off if they take part?

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If your child takes part in the trial, they may need additional tests, such as an extra biopsy or blood test. There are risks associated with those procedures, and these will be explained to you by your treating team. If a particular treatment is recommended for your child, you will have the opportunity to decide whether you want to go ahead with the treatment or not. At that time, your child’s oncologist will explain the potential risks and benefits, so you can make an informed choice.

Will my child need to have extra tests or procedures?

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An additional biopsy may need to be taken so a fresh sample of tumour can be provided for the laboratory testing, but this will be discussed with you. You will always be involved in the decision making.

Will my child be able to get treated at our local oncology centre?

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ZERO is open at all of Australia’s paediatric centres, as well as the Royal Hobart Hospital. You will not need to change to a different centre to access the program.

Is the Zero Childhood Cancer Program only available to children in Australia?

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Currently the Zero Childhood Cancer Program is only available in Australia by enrolling in the national clinical trial.

The Zero Childhood Cancer program involves collaboration ((link to ‘Research & Clinical Partners’ page) between clinical and research organisations both in Australia and overseas.
If you have an enquiry about taking part in the Program, regardless of whether your enquiry is domestic or international, please speak to your treating oncologist as your first point of contact.

How much does the Zero Childhood Cancer Program cost parents?

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There is no cost to parents of children in Australia who take part in the Program. All of the ZERO partners work hard to raise the funds needed to run the Program and conduct testing for each child.

How do I find out more?

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Please contact your child’s treating oncologist to find out more about participating in the Program.

Get in touch

Do you still have questions? Don't hesitate to get in touch with us.