Batley and Spen MP calls for UK-led vaccine trial to help children with cancer

Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater and Tom Tugendhat, Conservative MP for Tonbridge and Malling, convened a roundtable of experts earlier this week, at which they called to secure UK-led vaccine trials for children with cancer.

By Jessica Barton
Sunday, 3rd July 2022, 6:30 am
Kim Leadbeater has called for a UK-led vaccine trial to help children with cancer.
Kim Leadbeater has called for a UK-led vaccine trial to help children with cancer.

The event, which was organised with support from the charity Solving Kids’ Cancer UK, took place on Monday, June 27.

Both MPs have constituents whose children have battled high-risk neuroblastoma and have been forced to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to pay for treatments currently only available in the United States.

Shirley Hepworth and Claire Scott also attended the meeting in Parliament in which they shared their experiences as mothers of children with neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive childhood cancer which affects around 100 children in the UK every year.

Beau, Redd and June outside Parliament.

Ms Leadbeater said: “I was delighted to co-chair this meeting with my parliamentary colleague and friend, Tom Tugendhat MP, following my meeting with Solving Kids’ Cancer.

“It's important that we take a cross-party approach to this and I'm looking forward to taking the campaign for a UK-led neuroblastoma trial forward in the coming weeks.

“The scientific and economic case is overwhelming and this is something Britain should be taking a lead on globally.

“I was delighted that Beau was able to join us at the start of the meeting along with her sister, Redd, and grandma June.

“Beau's mum, Shirley Hepworth, gave us a moving account of the impact of neuroblastoma on families like hers.

“The fundraising efforts across Batley and Spen for Beau have been amazing, but it would be so much better to have these trials closer to home.

“And if we can show the way with neuroblastoma, it could open the way for ground-breaking treatments for other childhood cancers too.”

The roundtable also heard from medical experts and representatives of cancer charities Neuroblastoma UK and Solving Kids’ Cancer.

Gail Jackson, CEO of Solving Kids’ Cancer UK, said: “Government funding support for this type of UK initiative will greatly accelerate progress, guarantee trial delivery, and ensure UK children with cancer and UK academic research institutions are at the very forefront of international developments.

“Most impactfully of all, if the vaccine is shown to be effective, it could save the lives of many children with neuroblastoma who would otherwise die.”

Solving Kids’ Cancer fights for a future where no child dies of the rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma or suffers due to the treatment they receive.

The charity provides hope to families, facilitates access to treatment, funds clinical research and campaigns for the best treatment and care for the children suffering with neuroblastoma.

For more information, visit https://www.solvingkidscancer.org.uk/

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