Hear from the new ECMC Funder, the Little Princess Trust

18 Apr 2023
We sat down with Phil Brace, Chief Executive of the Little Princess Trust (LPT) to find out more about why he wanted to get involved in the ECMC network and his hopes for the future.
Can you tell us a bit about the vision and aims of LPT?
Our vision is to give Hair and Hope to every child and young person with cancer until there is no longer a need for what we do. This ‘Hope’ comes through the vital research that we fund, with the aims of improving survival through kinder and less toxic treatments. Our focus is purely on improving outcomes for children and young people with cancer.
Why did you want to join the existing funding partnership of the ECMC network?
Joining the existing funding partnership of the ECMC network was the most logical and cost-effective way to achieve the greatest impact. Through our journey of research funding since 2016 and talking to the paediatric research community, it was clear that it was in everyone’s interest to improve the existing network and that a significant uplift in funding was desperately needed.
What excites you about the future and what impact do you hope to see ECMC funding make towards children’s and young peoples’ cancer research over the next 5 years?
The excitement is what will be achieved over the next 5 years, now that every one of the centres gained the funding that they requested which should afford them the opportunity to open more innovative trials and maximise the benefit for children and young people with cancer.
For me personally, I believe that the most effective way to improve outcomes for the children we serve will come through a collaborative approach. The ECMC network epitomises what can be achieved by researchers, clinicians and scientists working together, along with the funders working together, as has now happened with The Little Princess Trust, CRUK, NIHR and the other devolved governments all involved.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge facing children’s and young peoples’ cancer research today?
I think the biggest challenge and biggest opportunity are very much linked. If different organisations can work together to share their skills and increase funding then this will create marvellous opportunities. However, the failure of those involved in childhood cancer research to collaborate more closely represents a major challenge.
April is Teenager and Young Adult (TYA) awareness month; how do you see the ECMC network supporting young people through research? 
Recognising that there is a need for trials specifically focussed on this underrepresented group is a huge step forward and, through the newly improved ECMC network, we believe The Little Princess Trust will play its own important part in making more trials happen.