UNSW research into childhood cancer and treatments for cancer patients with nerve damage has received major backing in the latest round of funding from The Cancer Institute NSW.

UNSW Conjoint Professors David Goldstein and Glenn Marshall head up two of the four teams that will share $14.2 million in grants to target new cancer treatments.

The grants were announced today by NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research Jillian Skinner.

Professor Marshall, who is based at the Children’s Cancer Institute and Lowy Cancer Research Centre, was awarded $3.75 million to continue research into the cause and treatment of childhood cancer.

“Childhood cancer remains the most common cause of death from disease in Australian children,” Professor Marshall says.

More than 800 Australian children are diagnosed with cancer every year. Of the 150-200 children that relapse, most die of their disease.

“This funding provides hope for children with relapsed cancer as we trial new treatments focusing on neuroblastoma, the third most common type of childhood cancer after leukaemia and brain tumors,” Professor Marshall says.

“This funding will also allow us to continue our clinical research into new anticancer therapies that target the MYC gene, commonly activated in both adult and child cancers, for use in several early phase clinical trials.”

Professor David Goldstein was awarded $3.04 million to find treatments for patients suffering nerve damage following chemotherapy treatment.

“This nerve damage significantly affects quality of life for many Australian cancer survivors every year,” Professor David Goldstein.

“There are currently no tools to measure its impact and no prevention or treatment options.”

“This funding will also allow our group of oncologists, neurologists and neurophysiologists to establish a clinical trials program so that we can develop interventions to treat and prevent this nerve damage.”