In a landmark in paediatric oncology research, children with high-risk neuroblastoma across Europe and North America will be treated together for the first time. The sum of of $1.3M has been awarded to fund a new trans- Atlantic clinical trial. In fact, this Trial will be led by Dr Yael Mossé of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Dr Dominique Valteau-Couanet of Institute Gustave Roussy in France. It will investigate the ALK inhibitor Lorlatinib in the treatment of children with newly diagnosed high-risk neuroblastoma. This deadly childhood cancer mainly affects children under the age of five.
It is the first International Neuroblastoma Research Initiative award to be funded under Solving Kids’ Cancer UK’s AMRC-accredited research funding call. Indeed, it follows an extensive and stringent scientific review process.
“We are proud to be driving forward innovation to provide new hope to children and families shattered by a neuroblastoma diagnosis. We are also thankful to members of the research community who stepped up and came together to meet the spirit of our challenge grant call.
“Making the first ever study of this kind a reality stands as a testament of what passionate like-minded charities and non-profit organisations can do if they come together for the greater good. International collaboration is vital to move things forward rapidly for children.” Nick Bird, Research Director at Solving Kids’ Cancer UK, Speaking on behalf of the group of funding partners.
A Landmark Transatlantic Trial
Ineed, the new study will be integrated to form part of the ongoing COG and SIOPEN Phase 3 high-risk neuroblastoma trials. It will involve children at Children’s Oncology Group hospitals and SIOPEN institutions across Europe and the UK having their tumours being tested for mutations in the ALK gene when they are first diagnosed.
Such mutations are found in around 14% of patients and represents a group of children who currently have inferior outcomes with the existing multi-modal treatment regimen. Children whose tumours are found to have ALK mutations will soon be treated with the addition of Lorlatinib, a third-generation ALK inhibitor manufactured and supplied by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.