Cancer in Kids @ RCH (CIKA)

Raising funds for research into solid tumours.

Area: We are based in Melbourne but have strong representation in rural Victoria especially Hamilton and Bendigo.

The story so far

Cancer in Kids @ RCH (CIKA) was founded in 1980 by three families who were each grieving for a beloved child who had died from a solid tumour. CIKA has grown over the years to include many more families and friends of a child who has been diagnosed with a solid tumour. When CIKA was first formed, most children did not survive their cancer and it would be ten more years before a CIKA member’s child was declared cured. Today, most children will survive, but not all. It is our aim to see all children not just survive, but thrive.

We believe that the best way to help cancer patients is to find new ways to treat cancer. We do this by raising money to fund research at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. CIKA is composed entirely of volunteers and we have raised over $4.5 million since our inception and all of this money has gone to research. CIKA is proud to work with a great many community organisations and individuals who raise funds for CIKA. We are also grateful to the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation, Absent Friends, Samuel Nissen Foundation, and CBTA who collaborate with us in funding areas of common interest.

Funded Projects 

The projects CIKA funds:

• Conduct research into multiple types of solid tumours;
• Have the potential to provide benefit to current parents;
• Build on research we have previously funded.

Our recent funding has provided:

Funding for the employment of a solid tumour clinical trials coordinator

This funding helps to give current patients at the RCH the opportunity to participate in clinical trials which is in line with CIKA’s objective of funding research that encompasses solid tumours and has the potential to benefit children currently undergoing treatment. Our support for this position has helped increase the number of children enrolled in a clinical trial from less than 10 per cent to greater than 70 per cent.

Funding for the Children’s Cancer Centre Biobank

The Children’s Cancer Centre Biobank holds hundreds of tumour specimens, which are essential for research into childhood tumours. The BioBank is part of the Australian and New Zealand Children’s Haematology Group BioBanking Network, and these samples have been part of research carried out across the globe.

We are also proud to know that CIKA funding of novel research such as immunotherapy in the early 2000’s led to what are now mainstream treatments. Our current funding commitments run through to August 2022, and we are now in discussions with the Director of the Children’s Cancer Centre, David Eisenstat, about future funding opportunities.

All the money CIKA raises goes to fund research. For more information and to see what actvities are taking place to support CIKA please visit our website 

October gathering 2019

Office bearers

President: Sandra Lehrer
Vice President: Ellen Webb
Secretary: Wendy Halligan
Treasurer: James Dawson


Sandra Lehrer

0409 369 853

[email protected]


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