BBC NEWS 18 SEPTEMBER 2017

'BLUE SKYE THINKING' WAY OF TREATING CHILDHOOD BRAIN TUMOURS

"We would like to thank all those who have been inspired and motivated by Skye and who have helped us get to this point. We truly couldn't have done it without you."
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Recent new discoveries by the paediatric brain tumour research group at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research led by Prof. Steve Clifford, have been able to sub divide the most common type of childhood brain tumour and therefore provide more bespoke and in some cases, gentler treatments. 

Brain tumours are the cancer responsible for most young lives lost. Medulloblastoma is the most common of these brain tumours and affects about 70 to 80 children a year in the UK and requires intensive treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Prof. Steve Clifford,  said that in the future, patients might not need to go through such aggressive treatment. "This new discovery allows us to undertake studies to see how we could use these insights to personalise treatments according to the biological features of each patient's tumour. We are inspired by Skye’s story and the fundraising efforts of Blue Skye Thinking."

Blue Skye Thinking funds Gemma Llargués Sistac (who has a degree in genetics), to assist Prof. Steve Clifford. The paediatric brain tumour research group at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research led by Prof. Clifford, Dr. Williamson and Prof. Bailey, comprises over 20 scientists and clinicians work towards a better understanding of the biological basis of nervous system tumours, and translating this knowledge into new and better therapeutic strategies.

Gemma Llargués Sistac said "Blue Skye Thinking is a Charity that understands the struggle that research groups encounter when trying to establish new ways to treat childhood cancer. Supporting research as the charity does, brings an opportunity to develop new therapies to improve survival rates of children with brain tumours, which can be translated into better quality of life and reduced toxicities related to therapy in surviving patients."

Miss Sistac's role is to follow up targets that were implicated by the study and reported in Lancet Oncology, to translate these discoveries into frontline treatment.

One of Skye's Consultants, Dr Mark Gaze, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) & University College Hospital (UCH) Tweeted, "Some good news here - but the pipeline is a long one. Clinical research to validate theoretical advances takes time."

It also takes funding which is why Blue Skye Thinking is determined to fight on to reach our next target

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Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children, yet research is chronically underfunded.

Watch this 1 minute video of Skye to appreciate the plight of these incredibly brave children. WARNING - HARD HITTING CONTENT (shown with Skye's approval)

We are delighted to announce that Stephen Mulhern has kindly agreed to be a Patron of Blue Skye Thinking. We look forward to working with Stephen over the coming years.

We are delighted to announce that Stephen Mulhern has kindly agreed to be a Patron of Blue Skye Thinking. We look forward to working with Stephen over the coming years.

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Brain tumours present a life changing experience.  Current treatment involves Surgery, plus a combination of Chemotherapy, and Radio or Proton Therapy, but each of these have devastating consequences in terms of side effects, both in the short term and over the long term. Research is trying to establish new innovative ways to treat childhood brain tumours, but this requires funding.

Blue Skye Thinking supports research into the treatment of childhood brain tumours, striving to give all children diagnosed, a better chance of survival and improved quality of life during and post treatment. Run by volunteers, money donated goes directly to the forefront of research and wellbeing projects.

"Help others like me to live their lives."