International Childhood Cancer Day 2023: Better survival is achievable!

Published on 02/14/2023

6 min read

February 15th has been globally acknowledged as the International Childhood Cancer Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness on childhood cancer and advocating for better treatment and care for young patients.

About Childhood Cancer

According to the World Health Organization, over 400,000 children and adolescents (0-19 years old) are diagnosed with cancer (1), while every 3 minutes, a child loses the battle with the disease. Although childhood cancer incidence is rare, it is the leading cause of disease-derived deaths past infancy (children and adolescents 0-19 years old) in the US and other developed countries (2). The most common types of cancer in children and adolescents are leukemias, lymphomas, central nervous system (CNS) and brain tumors (3).

This year, the focus of the International Childhood Cancer Day (ICDD), is to pay tribute to the groundbreaking impact that families and caregivers are having on children and adolescents with cancer. Additionally, the day is focused on raising awareness around the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer, an initiative aiming to achieve at least 60% global survival and reduce suffering of all children with cancer, by 2030 (3).

Why raising awareness on childhood cancer matters?

Raising awareness about childhood cancer requires a multi-faceted approach, as the impact of childhood cancer goes far beyond physical health. The emotional and financial toll on families and on survivors can also be overwhelming. Children and adolescents who survived cancer, often deal with treatment-derived comorbidities, cognitive impairment, heart disease, high risk for secondary tumors and others(4).

Despite the significant progress made in the field of childhood cancer, contributing to the decrease of cancer deaths, there is still work to be done. The overall incidence of childhood cancer has an average increase rate of 1% per year from 1997(4). In developed countries, approximately 80% of the childhood cancer incidents are treated, whereas low and middle-income countries (LMICs)the survival rates dramatically drop to 30% due to the lack of awareness, tools for timely and accurate diagnosis, inaccessibility to care, and relapse(5,6,7).

Do you want to know more about the Childhood Cancer survival rates in your country? Click here.

As childhood cancer prevention is not generally feasible, a comprehensive strategy is urgently needed to reduce the burden of cancer in children and improve patient outcomes . Coordinated efforts are needed from global governments, industry experts, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and civil society to build prompt and accurate diagnosis pathways, accompanied with personalized and evidence-based treatment decisions, as well as tailored long-term supportive care for cancer survivors.

SOPHiA GENETICS : Our knowledge at Clinician Researchers’ fingertips to fight cancer, together

Everyone touched by cancer needs a prompt and clear path to the right care. We, at SOPHiA GENETICS, simplify complex data and reveal what matters most.

Genomic-powered precision medicine is at the forefront of innovation in cancer research. Advancements in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology have  brought a new era in cancer care, expanding our understanding of pathogenic variants triggering oncogenesis and therapeutic targets.

Genomic research is playing a critical role in the battle against childhood cancer through identifying new targets and personalizing treatment options, developing new diagnostic tools, improving risk stratification as well as advancing immunotherapy solutions(8).

By providing biologically actionable in the underlying biology of childhood tumors, we can provide information and access to relevant clinical trials, effective existing treatment schemes and improved outcomes for children with cancer worldwide. Our CE-IVD bundle solutions empower data-driven decisions at all stages of the cancer research journey through a combination of accurate healthcare data analysis, intuitive interpretation functionalities, and secure knowledge sharing.

Our commitment is to provide clinician researchers and caregivers with evidence-based clinical decision tools, to establish research collaborations to unravel the pathophysiology of various cancers and unleash the power of precision medicine, leveraging our AI-based platform and solutions

By continuing to invest in cancer research, we aim to actively contribute to the elimination of cancer-related deaths. Fighting childhood cancer is essential for building a healthier, equitable and prosperous future for all. Working together, we can make a significant progress in the battle against childhood cancer and bring a positive impact in the lives of children with cancer and their families.

How can you help? Advocate for change!

Every effort matters, and every voice is necessary. Global advocacy raises awareness and can therefore bring a change and hope to childhood cancer. By using social media to support and participate in relevant events and organizations, educating yourself and others you can help make a difference in the fight against childhood cancer.


  1. Steliarova-Foucher E, Colombet M, Ries LAG, et al. International incidence of childhood cancer, 2001-10: a population-based registry study. Lancet Oncol. 2017;18(6):719-731.
  2. World Health Organization. (‎2023)‎. CureAll framework: WHO global initiative for childhood cancer: increasing access, advancing quality, saving lives. World Health Organization. 
  3. National Cancer Institute (2021), Cancer in Children and Adolescents,
  4. CAC2 Coalition Against Childhood Cancer. (2021). Childhood Cancer Fact Library. [Online]. . Available at:
  5. World Health Organisation – International Agency for Research on Cancer. (2021). WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer. [Online]. . Available at:
  6. World Health Organization. (‎2021)‎. CureAll framework: WHO global initiative for childhood cancer: increasing access, advancing quality, saving lives. World Health Organization. 
  7. Lam CG, Howard SC, Bouffet E, Pritchard-Jones K. Science and health for all children with cancer. Science. 2019 Mar 15;363(6432):1182-1186. doi: 10.1126/science.aaw4892. PMID: 30872518.
  8. Berger MF, Mardis ER. The emerging clinical relevance of genomics in cancer medicine. Nat Rev Clin Oncol. 2018 Jun;15(6):353-365. doi: 10.1038/s41571-018-0002-6. PMID: 29599476; PMCID: PMC6658089.

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