Liverpool charity to fund research into rare cancer that killed six-year-old Bradley Lowery

Bradley died in July after a long battle with a rare childhood cancer called neuroblastoma and North West Cancer Research is providing £117,382 for a two-year research project. Tony McDonough reports

North West Cancer Research is backing research projects in Liverpool to the tune of £4.2m


A Liverpool-based research charity is to pump £451,000 into three vital projects including one into the rare cancer that claimed the life of six-year-old Bradley Lowery.

Bradley, who captured the hearts of people across the UK, died in July after a long battle with neuroblastoma, a cancer that affects children.

He appeared as a mascot for both the Sunderland and England footballs teams and Everton FC is to host a charity match in his honour on September 3.

North West Cancer Research (NWCR) will provide £117,382 to fund a two-year project looking at the effects of novel drug combinations on neuroblastoma tumours.

The money will support a trainee surgeon from Alder Hey children’s hospital to work as a pre-doctoral research assistant.

Neuroblastoma is a rare cancer of the nervous system that mostly affects children and young babies and most commonly occurs in the adrenal glands situated above the kidneys.

It can be particularly aggressive and in cases where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body it leads to significant number of deaths each year.

Six-year-old Bradley Lowery with former Everton striker Romelu Lukaku at Goodison in January


The research is a joint effort between University of Liverpool and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Violaine See, project lead, said: “This type of cancer has the ability to disseminate and spread to other parts of the body. When it does, these secondary tumours become difficult to treat, with poor prognosis for patients.

“New therapeutic strategies are needed to offer an alternative for conventional treatments such as chemotherapies which are often ineffective in eradicating these tumours.”

All three of the projects being backed by NWCR will look at cancer cell behaviours at a basic and therapeutic level.

The projects will be based within the Institute of Integrative Biology, and the Institute of Translational Medicine at the University of Liverpool.

This will take the total funding commitment from the charity to £4.2m over the next three years for Liverpool-based research.

Alastair Richards, NWCR chief executive, added: “Cancer is one of the biggest killers in our region. Thanks to research, half of all people diagnosed with cancer today will survive.”

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