This Monday, December 11, the Lyon International Cancer Research Center hosted, under the leadership of Drs Marie Castet & Christophe Bergeron and their team, the 1st colloquium on basic research in pediatric oncology. Many researchers and associations, including the Eva pour la vie association, were present. 3 political decision-makers - including the former MP Martine Faure - were also stakeholders.
Stéphane Vedrenne, co-founder of the Eva pour la vie association, spoke in the afternoon, following a presentation on the funding of pediatric oncology research. The objective: to unite around the need to obtain the creation of a PUBLIC fund dedicated to research on cancers and incurable diseases in children, which are currently insufficiently funded by the State. Without opposing one cause to another, without dogma knowing that the number of child deaths (500 / year in France) has hardly declined for 15 years. Here is the content:
"Some defend the general research, indicating that the discoveries resulting from this work will benefit both adults and children, sometimes for pathologies far removed from the initial objectives. That is correct, and this must be strongly supported. However, this research does not preclude the need to support - through targeted funding - research for children, in particular for cancers that are only found in them, for some without therapeutic progress for decades. You need BOTH.
Some people talk about the need to promote access to innovative treatments, to improve European regulations. This is obviously correct. But we must also promote basic and preclinical research, including by studying the repositioning of old treatments, for some far removed from cancer, as Dr Pasquier mentioned this morning. Inexpensive treatments, which perhaps, will give promising therapeutic results. Here too, research must be financially supported with earmarked funding, without opposing old and innovative treatments, but focusing on a single interest: that of the child.
I remain optimistic. A manifesto, which was co-signed by 76 associations - including Eva pour la vie - as well as a hundred researchers, gave rise to the constitution of a federation "Growing up without cancer", with people and associations united around children, families and researchers, who should not waste 30 to 50% of their time looking for funding, too often in vain despite the quality of their projects.
This federation does not wish to oppose adults and children, cancers and other serious diseases of the child, because the reality is that we must give the means to ALL these causes, without removing money from one for add to the other. And in this fight, the will of our political decision-makers is paramount, in a country that has the means, but where associations cannot do everything.
This is why I am, more than ever, convinced of the need for the creation of a law guaranteeing a fund dedicated to research on cancers and incurable diseases of the child.
The United States, which MP Touraine cited earlier, did so in April 2014: the Gabriella Miller Kids 1st Research Act. I call on our current policy makers to do the same quickly, to support our researchers, who are wonderful. "