Child Cancer Smart

Award: £100,000 from the GKCCT 

Lead by: Professor David Walker

Child Cancer Smart is a scientific 4 year research project which aims to reduce the time taken to diagnose cancer in children, teenagers and young adults.

This work is led by the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group and the Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre  in partnership with the team at the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, Clic Sargent, and Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer.

Childhood cancer is the biggest killer by disease of children in the UK, and many children can experience long delays to diagnosis. Delayed diagnosis can lead to worse survival for patients and poorer long-term health for survivors. As a team, we are working to help change this for children with cancer in the future. 

A review of existing evidence also supports the need for us to better understand factors affecting the time it takes for a child or young person with cancer to be diagnosed. 

HeadSmart, an evidence-based national awareness campaign led by the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre and the Brain Tumour Charity has halved diagnosis times for children with brain tumours in the UK. We now hope to replicate this success for all other cancers affecting children and young people. 

The Project

ChildCancerSmart will help us measure and understand the time it takes to diagnose children and young people with all cancers across the UK. The project will also start to address delays by developing high quality guidance on cancers in children and young people, and produce awareness tools for a national awareness campaign to promote earlier diagnosis.

It is a 4 year project that aims to make a very postitive change for chlidren with cancer by raising awareness of the sins and symptoms of cancer in children, teenagers and young adults amongst both healthcare professionals and the general public.

Child Cancer Smart is working to carry out a systematic review of the published scientific literature on signs, symptoms and diagnosis of childhood cancers, the results of which will beresults used to develop high-quality clinical referral guidelines for GPs, emergency medical practitioners and other healthcare professionals. In addition the project aims to develop a series of e-learning modules for healthcare professionals as well as to undertake and ongoing study that investigates the paths to diagnosis for all children with cancer. This will help us to better understand the lengths of delay and the barriers to prompt diagnosis.

In time, Child Cancer Smart will have its own website, but until this is running, more information can be found here on the CCLG website.