Childhood cancer in Australia
Around 600 Australian children are diagnosed with cancer each year. While we celebrate the medical advances that have led to increased survival rates (now around 80% across all childhood cancers), we understand that more needs to be done for each family that traverses this difficult path.
The Behavioural Sciences Unit, proudly supported by the Kids with Cancer Foundation.
The BSU is a part of the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children's Hospital, Australia and is proudly supported by the Kids with Cancer Foundation Australia.
Our Unit undertakes psychosocial and nutritional research as related to paediatric oncology. Simply put, we evaluate many of the challenges families face from the time their child is diagnosed through to survivorship or bereavement.
Membership of the BSU is multidisciplinary, with representation from psychology, dietetics, paediatric oncology/haematology, social work, nursing, bereavement counselling, behavioural sciences, and exercise physiology. We also include consumer representatives for all projects.
As well as conducting rigorous scientific research here in Australia, we also maintain close ties with international experts from the USA, UK, Holland and Canada. Our work is presented at several international conferences each year.
The quality of BSU research has been recognised through the receipt of numerous academic awards, government grants and international peer-reviewed publications and we strive to support our families through the continuation of such gold standard research.
- Conduct translational research The primary aim of the BSU is to conduct world-class research that can be translated into practice, quickly and effectively, so that each new generation of families has a better experience than the last.
- Maintain a strong track record The BSU also aims to maintain a strong track record of publication and conference presentation, as well as a strong financial record of grant funding. The BSU expects to produce a minimum of 10 publications annually, published in top-tier international journals; a minimum of 10 abstracts accepted by national and international conferences; and sufficient funding to support the group’s research activities.
- Provide research support to the Kids Cancer Centre Research support is provided to both students and clinical colleagues of the Kids Cancer Centre. Specifically, the BSU will provide support to students in the form of supervision and clinician consultation. The BSU also conducts a program of tailored workshops on common research topics, such as literature reviews, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, ethics applications and questionnaire design available to Kids Cancer Centre members.
- Participate in clinical trials The BSU conducts quality of life research within the framework of clinical trials. It is our aim to promote the collection of patient reported outcomes, including quality of life and dietary needs, in existing and planned medical trials. We also provide the necessary support clinicians might require to develop and administer psychosocial and quality of life protocols within a medical trial.
"The unique position of the BSU makes possible the collaboration of researchers, clinicians, health care professionals and consumers for the advancement of cancer care."