Mum’s heartfelt reason for backing children’s brain tumour research – The University of Manchester

Posted: October 23, 2020 at 1:55 pm

Carla said: The radiotherapy was really tough and Luca had to be sedated every day for six weeks so that he could receive the treatment. It was also hard to separate the boys for those six weeks as Rocco is non-verbal autistic and the two brothers are extremely close. We made sure we FaceTimed as often as possible so the boys could wave to each other.

I havent spoken to Luca about cancer as hes too young to understand it properly. But he knows that he needs to take medicine to get better, and thats enough for now.

Weve had our challenges, but he shows amazing bravery and courage and has a huge smile on his face every day. He is my strength and inspires me to keep on going. Even when his hair fell out from the chemotherapy, he was so happy not to have to go for haircuts! I'm just so proud of him.

Carla added: Luca is living proof of why research into cancer is so important as, thanks to treatment, he is still here today. But although his tumour has been successfully targeted with treatment, he has sadly been left with side effects which will need monitoring for many years to come. Radiotherapy for childrens cancers is very effective, but what many people dont realise is how harsh the treatment can be on youngsters, especially when they are blasting an area as sensitive as the brain.

Lucas short-term memory and attention span has definitely been affected by what hes been through. Sometimes when were chatting, hell just zone out as though he doesnt understand what Im saying. And hes also more forgetful, I can tell him something one minute thats totally forgotten the next. As he gets older, he will need to be monitored for any more effects of the treatments.

The Manchester-based scientists are benefitting from the new Stand Up To Cancer-Cancer Research UK Paediatric Cancer New Discoveries Challenge awards. Their work has been recognised because it reflects Stand Up To Cancer and Cancer Research UKs shared ambition to accelerate the development of new treatments for some of the rarest and hardest to treat cancers in children and young people.

Lead scientist Dr Martin McCabe, who is based at The Christie, said: Its great news for Manchester that we have been awarded this funding. Its an ambitious goal, but we hope this research could lead to safer radiotherapy treatments for childhood brain tumours treatments that arent as tough on young people as the ones we use now, and maybe new treatments that could help more young people to survive this type of cancer in the future. This research could be a real game-changer for generations to come as we develop ways to deliver radiotherapy accurately to tumours but avoid sensitive areas of the brain and ultimately give patients much better lives.

He continued: The award is also a proud recognition of Manchesters reputation as a world-leading centre in cancer research. Manchester remains an international leader in the fields of proton beam therapy, gene therapy and immunotherapy and is home to The Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital, the biggest childrens hospital in Europe and The Christie, the biggest single-site, dedicated cancer hospital in Europe. Were excited to have been awarded this funding and were looking forward to bringing our expertise to a global team to help more young people across the world with this devastating disease.

Stand Up To Cancer in the UK is a joint national fundraising initiative from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4.This Friday October 23 will see special editions of Celebrity Gogglebox, and The Last Leg to raise awareness of the cause

Anna Taylor, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North West, said: People in Manchester have every right to feel proud of the groundbreaking research being carried out on their doorstep, and of their fundraising efforts, which are helping to beat the disease.

Every year, over 40,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the North West**. So, were working every day to get new cancer tests and treatments to people who need them the most. Cancer doesnt stop in the face of a pandemic. It can affect anyones life, at any time so we only have one option: speed up life-saving research.

Thats why now is the time to Stand Up To Cancer. Were asking everyone to donate or fundraise in any way they can, so we can keep funding incredible scientists like Dr McCabe and his team and help save more lives.

To get involved visit

Mum's heartfelt reason for backing children's brain tumour research - The University of Manchester

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