There is an urgent need for less toxic treatments for childhood blood cancer, experts are warning.
A report has been commissioned by blood cancer research charity Bloodwise, following the announcement that the son of former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been battling lymphoma.
Bloodwise was known as Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research until it changed its name in 2015.
Dr Alasdair Rankin, director of research at Bloodwise, explains that the report 'Childhood blood cancer: the quest for a kinder cure' was written by a panel of renowned blood cancer researchers and clinicians at the Wellcome Collection in London. It is part of the charity's actions to mark Blood Cancer Awareness Month in September.
The report outlines where breakthroughs can be made in treatment, and how progress can be accelerated.
'The reality is that one in five children diagnosed with the most common type of leukaemia still do not survive, and that those who do often experience devastating side-effects both during and after treatment,' says Dr Alasdair Rankin.
'This is simply not good enough. We need to save every child's life, make the treatment process much kinder and give them the life they would have had without cancer.
'Only by funding more research into better treatments will we be able to finish the job that has been started and give children the best possible cancer treatment.'
Nick Clegg and his partner Miriam Gonzalez Durantez say that their son Antonio was diagnosed in September of last year with stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma in his neck and his chest. Antonio is now free of cancer, and his regular three-monthly checks have detected no return of the disease.
'We know how lucky we've been,' they write in the Foreword, but 'More research is needed to understand these conditions better and develop the way we treat them.'
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