Miracle Boy

Jayden Stone is one in a million, a tiny battler who's defying medical odds.

He was just twenty months old, when his Mum and Dad were told their little boy had a rare and aggressive brain cancer.

Out of desperation, the family traveled to the United State's for proton beam therapy, a treatment not available in Australia.

Jayden's Mum won't use the word "cured" - but now 5 years old, Jayden is cancer free.

A message from Children's Cancer Institute Australia:

The future of childhood cancer treatment: targeted, tailored treatments

- The traditional 'one-size-fits-all' approach to cancer treatment simply does not work for everyone, which is why it's set to be replaced by tailored treatments for each patient.

- Cancer treatments/chemotherapy work by attacking rapidly dividing cells - the cancer cells; but unfortunately there are other rapidly dividing cells in the body e.g. in the hair, stomach lining and mouth. And, in a young child who is still growing, many of the cells in their body are rapidly dividing. This is why chemo can lead to such debilitating side-effects, particularly in children.

- 70% of childhood cancer survivors will have some long term side effects and 30% will have serious, chronic side effects such as heart conditions, learning disorders, diabetes, infertility, hearing loss - and, ironically, secondary cancers not linked to the primary cancer but caused by the very treatment used to cure it.

- Most people don't realise that childhood cancer is different from adult cancer. It has different causes, occurs in different tissues and behaves differently, and therefore requires differently tailored treatments. That's why our vision is for targeted treatments that will attack cancer cells but leave the healthy cells alone - reducing side-effects during and after treatment.

- We're on the brink of a new era of medicine that will involve molecular data about an individual's cancer, in parallel with laboratory testing of their tumour cells to assess response to various drugs, being used to guide treatment choices. By sequencing genetic material and looking at what is driving someone's cancer, we can identify specific drugs likely to be most effective at treating it.

For more details on research being undertaken by the Children's Cancer Institute Australia, visit:-