Researchers have found a more effective combination of drugs for treating children and young people whose neuroblastoma isn’t responding to standard chemotherapies, thanks to a trial we helped fund.
The findings, published this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, are an important step forward in treating neuroblastomas that come back or continue growing after initial drug treatments. Currently, these relapsed and refractory forms of the disease have some of the lowest survival rates for any childhood cancer.
By adding bevacizumab (Avastin), a treatment that targets the way solid cancers get nutrients and oxygen from blood, to chemotherapy, doctors working on the trial were able to shrink more children’s and young people’s tumours. This can make it possible to give patients further, potentially lifesaving, treatments.
Doctors across the UK are already using the findings to improve how they care for children and young people with relapsed and refractory neuroblastomas.
“Incremental improvements in treatment can make all the difference for young cancer patients,” said Dr Laura Danielson, our children’s and young people’s research lead. “It’s fantastic to see that the standard of care across the UK has already been updated based on these results, giving children with relapsed neuroblastoma more treatment options.”