HOPE Q & A
Cancer is the leading cause of death among children and adolescents in Sweden. Every day a new child is diagnosed with cancer, of which a third are treated at the Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital in Stockholm. Today, 80 percent of children with cancer will survive, which means that one in five children with cancer will never grow up to be an adult. Despite intensive research in the field, the proportion of survivors has remained at the same level for the past 15 years. New treatments are required in order to cure more children. Our vision is that ALL children will survive their cancer.
What is HOPE?
HOPE is a resource that enables the conduct of early phase clinical trials of new drugs against childhood cancer. For children with hard to cure cancer, current treatments are insufficient. Some types of cancer can be so unusual that a child oncologist may only see one case in their entire lifetime, and these need very specific treatments. New targeted cancer treatments are under development, but substantial resources and a well-functioning infrastructure are necessary in order to find a suitable trial and match the right medicine to the child's specific cancer. Today, two physicians are employed half-time at HOPE as well as one full-time nurse. The aim is to expand the operations to be able to accept children from all over the country and to run significantly more clinical trials.
Who runs HOPE?
HOPE is a successful example of how research and health care can be integrated for the benefit of patients and is managed jointly by Karolinska Institutet (KI) and the Karolinska University Hospital. HOPE is geographically located at the Astrid Lindgren Children's Hospital, where the patients are and where the clinical skills are available. KI contributes with competence and experience in medical research.
How is HOPE funded?
Today, HOPE is financed with funds raised from Entrepreneurs for Good, a foundation started by Johanna and Fredrik Malm, and from the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, totalling SEK 5 million. Since the start of the campaign, several private individuals and foundations have donated gifts to KI and the total collected sum is now SEK 10.5 million. We need a further SEK 14.5 million to establish and run the unit for five years. After that, we anticipate that HOPE will in large part self-sufficient through academic research projects and clinical trials commissioned from the pharmaceutical industry.
The staff at HOPE
The staff at HOPE have extensive experience in paediatric cancer care and research. With the new unit, hope for the future is reinforced by the new opportunities offered to children with cancer.