Christopher's Smile Presentation

Christopher’s Smile

What we would do with a grant of £5,000:

Christopher’s Smile has a need for £4,956.59 to enable full funding of a 410 litre capacity freezer that would be used to support childhood cancer research. No additional funding is required for this freezer. This would be the total to purchase the item outright.


More children die from cancer in the western world than from any other disease.

The drugs used to treat children today are the same drugs which were developed decades ago to treat adults.

A new generation of innovative drugs is ready for clinical trials in children. These drugs will be used to help save the lives of the 25% of children who currently die from childhood cancer.

These new drugs, although tested on adults are new to children and we are keen for research to progress quicker for children.

Treatment of adults with cancer has moved away from the concept of ‘one size fits all’ to a more personalised approach. With this new approach, the molecular profile of the patient’s tumour is determined and then the most appropriate drugs are used. It is crucial for the researchers to build an extensive collection of primary tumour samples for this work to advance in children.

Tumour biopsies and resections are performed and the scientists in the pathology department who process tumour tissue will look at the molecular make up of tumours. This will help determine the most suitable treatments for the patient.

For this type of molecular research it is essential to rapidly preserve tumour tissue by snap-freezing the tumour as soon as possible after removal from the patient. In order to do this a small -80°C (ultra low temperature) freezer is needed. This would be the first such piece of equipment to be used specifically for children where this research is taking place, where all patient specimens can be collected for processing prior to diagnosis. Such a freezer would enable the collection of samples that will underpin future research into childhood cancers with the aim of improving the treatment of young patients with this disease.

The freezer would be used at The Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton where Christopher’s Smile has already fully funded two research positions. The equipment would be used specifically for childhood cancer tumours.

Christopher’s Smile is desperate to purchase this equipment. A donation from MTG Youth for Charity would mean that this freezer could be purchased and children close by and from all over the UK would be benefitting within months rather than years.

New treatments are desperately needed for children whose cancer is incurable. Trials of new treatments can only take place when everything is in place and the availability of key equipment such as this freezer is essential.

To reduce the number of children dying from cancer new treatments must be introduced.

Should Christopher’s Smile be selected we would like to assure everyone that every penny will be used to fund the freezer.

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