Research being funded in the year ending 30 June 2008

The following report was provided by CIKA vice president, Ellen Webb.

The main program being funded by CIKA in the year ending 30 June 2008 will be the new dendritic cell immunotherapy clinical trials.

The new generation anti-tumour vaccines will be manufactured in the state of the art clean room facility housed at the RCH in conjunction with the cell therapeutics facility. The vaccines used to treat children with advanced solid tumours will be high quality clinical grade cellular products. The vaccine process will educate the patients own immune cells to attack their tumours through manipulation in the laboratory. This process will yield at least six vaccine doses which the patient will receive biweekly as an injection. It has previously been shown that this type of immunotherapy has little to no side effects and can produce significant clinical responses in some patients.

CIKA has committed to funding these trials for three years, at a minimum funding level of $100,000 per year. The trial opened in August and a number of patients have been enrolled to date. It is aimed to enrol eighteen patients over the next three years. The committee of CIKA is very proud of the work we support at the RCH. We are striving to raise ever higher sums of money to enable us to increase our committed funding, to be able to fund a greater number and variety of studies in as many different types of tumours as possible which we hope will ultimately help to find a cure. As our ability to fund further studies is limited by our fundraising abilities, we continue to look for new ways to increase our revenue streams