Annual report and review 2016

Our mission and the world around us

Today, 20 per cent of all children with cancer die. This has been the case for a couple of decades; some progress has been made, but it is slow. New treatments in the pipeline could make a difference. But more research is needed – which requires time and money.

On average, one child in Sweden is diagnosed with cancer every day. Research on childhood cancer has come a long way, and the latest advances in, for example, immunotherapy show promising results for cancer diseases that were previously difficult to cure. But research takes time and costs money.

Why the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation is needed

In 2016 the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation allocated SEK 172.7 million to research on cancer diseases that affect children. This means that the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation is the single largest financier of research into Swedish childhood cancer – there is no support from the national government, municipalities or county councils. With the help of the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, Swedish researchers receive the long-term support that is necessary to save more children.


amount, in SEK, that the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation raised in 2016

More than 300

children are diagnosed with cancer every year

The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation was founded by parents of children with cancer in 1982. Our mission today is to ensure that affected children, young people and their families receive the care and support they need. The vision of the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation is to eradicate childhood cancer.

The path to achieve this vision requires improved survival for those diseases that currently take the lives of 20 per cent of affected children. Cancer is currently the most common cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 14. Today, health care has reached a plateau using traditional treatment methods. Researchers hope that the new treatments will be kinder to the growing bodies of children and cause fewer late complications. Late complications are problems that arise after illness and treatment and that may appear decades after completion of treatment.

But today the focus is not just on doctors saving the 80 per cent who survive, but also on the quality of life that awaits them. Children are not small adults – their bodies react differently to both illness and treatment. After treatment, children should continue to undergo normal growth and development, including puberty with sustained fertility. Such factors do not have to be taken into account in the same way for adults.


new research projects were approved in 2016


research projects underway at the end of the year

The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation supports more than 200 ongoing research projects related to childhood cancer. By funding research, the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation helps to find new and better methods to ease and cure childhood cancer – and save more children.



Complex and long-term research

Research is complicated and takes time. The journey to a successful treatment method or a new medicine is long and may entail many dead ends. Consequently the need for long-term support is enormous.

Childhood cancer is an uncommon diagnosis. In Sweden, the number of children in the same age category with the same diagnosis are too few for researchers to be able to draw reliable conclusions. Consequently collaboration is necessary. Such collaboration takes place both within the Nordic region and internationally. But collaboration also requires funding and long-term design. The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation can help with this aspect.

The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation finances both targeted and broad-spectrum projects to cure sick children and to give them a better life both during and after treatment. Consequently the research projects that the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation funds may affect several different areas. These range from developing tomorrow’s targeted therapies, cancer-destroying killer cells or molecules that enable defective genes to act as they should, to providing better pain relief or diet and providing opportunities for better psychological care during and after treatment.

Research can be compared to a giant puzzle, where many different people from different fields slowly contribute by adding piece after piece – which hopefully will ultimately lead to the eradication of childhood cancer. In recent decades, Swedish childhood cancer research has contributed important pieces to this puzzle.

Up until the 1960s, hardly any children survived cancer. Today, about 90 per cent survive the most common cancer form that affects children, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Key elements of the success story include research that resulted in chemotherapy and stem cell transplants, which today set the standard for high-risk treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

Research in other fields has also contributed to the improved survival curve. Today, health care is better at treating the infections that affect children with cancer, whose immune systems are especially weak.

The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation funds more than just pure research. In order for research to be efficient and yield results, additional initiatives are also needed. For example, infrastructure such as biobanks and disease registers must also be funded, along with the administrative personnel to run them.

Our contribution to research and training during 2016 amounted to 238 million Swedish crowns, distributed to research infrastructure, training, and research. Within research, we support the disciplines of medical technology research and development, clinical research, basic research, translational research and healthcare research.

Apart from the need to develop new treatments, paediatric oncology also faces other challenges. There is a shortage of paediatric oncologists and specialist nurses. Consequently, the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation finances research positions for doctors, as well as training for paediatric nurses who wish to specialise in paediatric oncology.

The money that the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation raises from generous donors also helps to fund other activities that the Foundation supports. Such activities include providing advice and support to patients and their families, as well as raising awareness about childhood cancer and the situation of those who are affected. The ultimate goal is to raise awareness of the issue and improve societal understanding of those who are affected. The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation also constantly works on finding new fundraising methods as well as building the brand – with the ultimate goal of raising as much money as possible for childhood cancer research and the Foundation’s other areas of activity.


amount, in SEK, that goes to Advice & Support


amount, in SEK, that goes to Information

Although survival is higher than ever, paediatric oncology has reached a plateau. The percentage of children who die today is almost the same as it was twenty years ago. And although research is on the brink of several breakthroughs that are expected to save many lives, the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation’s work is as important as ever. The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation works to eradicate childhood cancer – that is our vision.

Graph depicting survival in per cent of the most common forms of childhood cancer. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the best treatable form of childhood cancer, with a survival rate close to 100 per cent. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is survived by 88 per cent of children, closely followed by Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Kidney tumours and Brain tumour illnesses. Acute myeloid leukemia remains the form of childhood cancer most difficult to treat, with a survival rate of just over 60 per cent.

Today, the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation is working to cure children suffering from incurable brain tumours, recurrence of bone tumours and neuroblastoma as quickly as possible. These are the children whom we are unable to save today. At the same time, the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation is here to provide advice and support to affected children and their mums and dads, siblings and grandparents. This is the responsibility of the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation. There are many ways to contribute. They range from corporate collaborations that further develop corporate brands, to individuals who become Child Supporters. The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, researchers and the sick children are completely dependent on generous donations from both individuals and businesses.


90-konto logotyp

The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation is reviewed by the Swedish Fundraising Control, which makes sure that organisations with approved donations accounts spend at least 75% of their revenues on mission-related initiatives.

Donor Service: 020-90 20 90
Secretariat: 08-584 209 00
Visiting address: Hälsingegatan 49, Stockholm
Corporate registration number: 802010-6566
Plusgiro: 90 20 90-0
Swish: 90 20 900
Questions & answers – visit our support forum

FRII-logoThe Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation complies with the Swedish Fundraising Council’s (FRII) quality code for fundraising organisations. The purpose of the code is to increase transparency and openness in the sector, thereby strengthening confidence in organisations that comply with the code.

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