We start with kids because Finn was just a kid. No kid should have to go through what he had to endure. We start with kids because kids can’t fight cancer alone.
Then there is rule of 7 versus 77. While we are highly supportive of all innovative research, we choose to focus on research that can add 77 years of life to a 7 year old as opposed to research that can add 7 years of life to a 77 year old.
In addition, the study of kids’ cancers has a unique place in the realm of cancer genomics and omics generally. Pediatric cancer genomes are typically more straightforward to study than those of adults. This is because kids’ genomes don’t have a lifetime of “other” mutations caused by environmental or personal exposures. Kids haven’t smoked or drank or just lived long enough to see their normal tissues mutate.
This can simplify the scientific analysis of the cancer and can facilitate a more efficient approach to attacking all cancers. In short, studying kids’ cancers will generate an unprecedented view of the tumour genomes in childhood diseases. This will also help inform the adult world of cancer research.