Tali’s Fund was created in loving memory of our beautiful 4-year old daughter, Tal Esther Doron, who lost her battle with a malignant brain tumour on August 26, 2007. Tal, affectionately known as Tali, was a strong, determined, and happy little girl. Despite her very difficult circumstances, she seized the opportunity, whenever possible, to be a child like any other. Through her words and actions, our little girl lit up the world, exuding kindness, gentleness, and deep affection for those fortunate enough to be around her. Tali touched the lives of so many in her four short years, and she continues to be a source of inspiration. She lives on in our hearts and sparks our determination to help make a difference.
Brain tumours are the leading cause of cancer-related death among children and adolescents under age 20. At this time, there is no way to predict or prevent a brain tumour, and the cause of most brain tumours is not fully understood. Current treatment options are limited and result in significant side effects that harm a child's developing brain. Research is essential for discovering treatments and finding a cure.
WHY STUDY CHILDHOOD BRAIN TUMOURS?
Cancer is the leading cause of disease related death in children.
Next to leukemia, brain tumours are the second most common type of cancer in children.
While in recent years there have been significant advances in the treatment for leukemia, the outcome for children with brain tumors remains poor.
Despite research advances in the causes and treatment of brain tumours, the survival rate from brain tumours is still lower than that of other forms of cancer. In fact, brain tumours are the leading cause of cancer-related death among children and adolescents under age 20.
Up to 1/3 of brain tumours arise in very young children (under age 3). These “infant” brain tumours are particularly difficult to treat as the developing brain and body are very susceptible to both short-term and long-term side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Studying children’s cancers helps us understand more about adult cancers. One reason is that children’s cancers are not related to lifestyle. Learning why a child develops cancers has provided important clues for therapy and has led to breakthroughs towards predicting cancer risk across different ages.
WHY STUDY RARE CHILDHOOD BRAIN TUMOURS?
Rare cancers contribute disproportionately to childhood cancer related death and disability, as they have high fatality rates and higher risk of short-term and long-term treatment toxicity.
Rare brain tumours are particularly challenging to treat, as they are poorly recognized and therefore severely understudied. The full clinical spectrum of these diseases remains to be understood. We currently have limited diagnostic and classification tools, and we know very little about the presentation of these tumours, such as the types and locations of cells involved and the patterns of metastases.
Studying rare brain tumours can also provide valuable insight and lead to deeper understanding of common types of childhood brain tumours as well as other forms of cancer in both children and adults. Some of the pivotal findings in cancer treatment have come from studies of rare cancers in children.
"The important work seeded by your funds has allowed a small project to develop into one that promises to have a significant impact on the way we will treat the next generation of children with rhabdoid tumours. We have moved from many unknowns to having a better idea of how to prognosticate children, and are well on our way to designing better treatments..."
Dr. Annie Huang SickKids Hospital Staff Oncologist, Paediatric Brain Tumour Program, Haematology/Oncology SickKids Hospital Associate Chief of Paediatrics (Research) Canada Research Chair in Rare Childhood Brain Tumours Senior Scientist, Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumour Research Centre Professor, Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto