A groundbreaking clinical trial for children with aggressive neuroblastoma

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Source: Cancer Research Science Blog

Prof Andrew PearsonNeuroblastoma is a form of cancer that affects around 100 children every year in the UK –mostly those under the age of five – and grows from nerve cells left over from development in the womb. Normally these cells vanish once they have done their job, and the reasons why they persist and carry on dividing in rare instances to become a cancer remain a mystery; one that urgently needs to be solved.

The good news is that, thanks to improvements in treatment resulting from scientific research, more than six in every 10 children now survive neuroblastoma, compared to fewer than two in 10 back in the 1970s.

But these statistics hide a sobering reality. As with most forms of cancer, there are different types of the disease, some of which are particularly aggressive and harder to treat.

Despite intensive therapy, more than half the children with aggressive forms of the disease see their cancer return, called recurrent neuroblastoma. And for these children there are few treatment options left.

At present, doctors simply don’t know the best combinations of drugs to use to tackle neuroblastoma that’s come back, and researchers and clinicians are working to find better ways to improve things for these children.

And our new clinical trial, the BEACON–Neuroblastoma Trial, aims to do just that.

 

What is the BEACON-neuroblastoma trial?

The trial is a ‘phase II’ trial, run by the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit in Birmingham and led by children’s cancer expert Professor Andrew Pearson. It aims to define the ‘gold standard’ treatment for children with recurrent neuroblastoma….Read Full Article

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