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Whilst many people know our charity for events like the annual Children’s Cancer Run, or the various fundraising challenges carried out by our community fundraisers and corporate supporters, a lot of what we do happens behind the scenes.

A key part of our work is investing in research, and we do this for a number of reasons. Childrens’ tumours are individually rare, so national and international collaboration is crucial. We help fund clinical trials so children and young people in the North of England can access treatments they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. We also support research that helps make treatments for children less harsh and more effective.

Working in partnership with Newcastle Hospitals Charity and the Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre, we have recently helped fund the purchase of a new, innovative piece of equipment that uses light therapy to treat mouth ulcers and inflammation (mucositis) in children – a very common side effect for patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

One of the families that have used the new THOR treatment are the Andersons. Steph Anderson said: “We had such a positive experience during the trial of the THOR treatment in 2022. It definitely helped our sixth month old son with mucositis.

“The chemotherapy drug he was prescribed, Doxyrubicin, is known to cause mucositis, and it meant he didn’t want to eat or drink. However, after his first treatment using THOR we found he wanted to drink straight after. He only experienced mucositis once, because since using THOR he never had it again.

“We were very impressed and we personally recommend THOR to all the other patients who were suffering mucositis as it is a truly awful side effect. I think it’s a great investment for the children’s ward and believe all children should be given the opportunity to use it if they need it.”

Tasnim Arif, one of the consultants at the Great North Children’s Hospital, championed the purchase of THOR and worked with Children’s Cancer North and Newcastle Hospitals Charity to bring it to the North East.


Tasnim said: “There is currently no NHS funding available to purchase THOR. The only way we could secure it for our patients was with the support of Children’s Cancer North and Newcastle Hospitals Charity.

“We trialed it originally and immediately saw the benefits. Thanks to the funding provided by both charities we’ve been able to significantly improve the quality of life for children going through cancer treatment.”

Because THOR is not currently widely used in children’s cancer care due to the costs associated with it, it also means the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle can be part of future clinical trials; benefitting other children across the UK and beyond.

Tasnim continued: “Our investment in THOR has helped us stay at the forefront of clinical research into day-to-day things that make a difference for children and young people. And that means these patients not being in pain, being able to eat comfortably, and being able to go home.

“The funding and support we receive from Children’s Cancer North allows us to take a leading role in childhood cancer care here in the North East. That’s exactly why individuals, families, and businesses raise money for the charity, so we can continue to build on what we do and lead the way for others.”

Find out more about the research we fund at the Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre in Newcastle to help treat childhood cancers.

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