This month marks 48 years since man first walked on the moon, a feat many would have thought impossible decades earlier, much like curing all childhood cancer.
But astronaut Neil Armstrong did take mankind’s first steps in space on July 20, 1969.
Similarly, it’s not inconceivable to think all childhood cancers will be curable in the not too distant future, says oncologist and leading Australian researcher Professor Roger Reddel, Director of the Children’s Medical Research (CMRI) Institute.
“Fifty years ago very few if any children survived childhood leukaemia and now the cure rate is upwards of 80 per cent,” Professor Reddel said.
However some forms of the deadly disease, like many neuroblastomas – cancer found in nerve tissue – continue to defy understanding and there has been very little improvement in survival.
“Our aim is one day that we will be able to cure all cases, it’s not a matter of eradicating in a sense that no child will get cancer but we are working towards a day when every child can be cured of their cancer,” said Prof Reddel.
“There’s lots of room for improvement and I’m quite confident that that will happen it’s just a matter of when and how fast we can get that and that’s all a matter of resources,” Professor Reddel told AAP.