Childhood Cancer - Cancer Currents Blog
News about childhood cancer research, with context from leading experts. Topics include new treatments, issues facing childhood cancer survivors, and findings on the biology of cancer in children.
- The Childhood Cancer Data Initiative: Why Data Sharing Is Essential to Progress
NCI is laying the groundwork to develop the Childhood Cancer Data Initiative (CCDI). NCI Acting Director Douglas Lowy, M.D., explains why an initiative with a focus on data sharing is essential to accelerating progress against childhood cancer.
- Pediatric MATCH Study Finds More Targetable Genetic Changes than Expected
An early report from the NCI–COG Pediatric MATCH trial shows that 24% of young patients with advanced cancer who had their tumors tested for genetic changes were eligible to receive one of the targeted therapies being tested.
- Some Children with Liver Cancer May Need Less Chemotherapy, Study Suggests
Some children with liver cancer may need less chemotherapy than is typically used, new research suggests. The study included children and infants with hepatoblastoma whose tumors had been surgically removed when the disease was diagnosed.
- NCI’s Rare Cancer Clinics: Engaging Patients and Fostering Collaboration
NCI has created special clinics that bring together clinicians, patients, and advocates to promote more rapid progress against rare cancers. The effort includes both rare pediatric cancers and central nervous system tumors in adults.
- A CAR T-Cell Therapy for Multiple Childhood Cancers?
An experimental CAR T-cell therapy may have potential as a treatment for several types of childhood cancer, results from a new study in mice suggest. The CAR T cells eradicated tumors in mouse models of several different childhood cancers, including two forms of sarcoma and medulloblastoma.
- Blood Test Shows Promise for Detecting Genetic Changes in Brain Tumors
A liquid biopsy blood test can detect DNA from brain tumors called diffuse midline gliomas, researchers have found. This minimally invasive test could be used to identify and follow molecular changes in children with these highly lethal brain tumors.
- Sodium Thiosulfate Prevents Cisplatin-Induced Hearing Loss in Some Children
The drug sodium thiosulfate can protect the hearing of children with cancer undergoing treatment with the chemotherapy drug cisplatin, results from a new clinical trial show. The trial involved children with a form of liver cancer called hepatoblastoma.
- Trial Produces Practice-Changing Findings for Some Children, Young Adults with Leukemia
This NCI-funded Children’s Oncology Group trial tested the addition of nelarabine (Arranon) to standard treatment for children and young adults with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL).
- Selumetinib Continues to Show Promise in Children with NF1
In a phase 2 clinical trial, the investigational drug selumetinib shrank tumors in some children with the genetic syndrome neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). The tumors, called neurofibromas, can cause pain, difficulty breathing or walking, and disfigurement.
- Some Children with Wilms Tumor Can Receive Less Therapy, Study Suggests
Results from an NCI-sponsored clinical trial may point to an important change in how some children with advanced Wilms tumor, a form of kidney cancer, are treated.
- Targeted Therapy Larotrectinib Shows Promise in Early Trials, Regardless of Cancer Type
Initial results from a series of three small clinical trials of a targeted cancer therapy called larotrectinib suggest that it may be effective in patients—children and adults—with a wide variety of cancer types.
- TARGET Study Finds Major Differences between Childhood and Adult AML
An NCI-funded study has found significant differences in the genetics of acute myeloid leukemia in younger and older patients. The findings could help guide the development of treatments tailored specifically for childhood AML.
- Study Identifies Potential Drug Combination for Ewing Sarcoma
From experiments in cells and mice, researchers have identified a two-drug combination that kills more Ewing sarcoma cells than either drug on its own. The study findings could help inform future clinical trials.
- Kids First Pediatric Research Program Moves Forward
Progress continues to be made with the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Program, which is creating opportunities for investigators from different research communities to share resources and collaborate on research into childhood cancers and certain birth defects.
- CAR T-Cell Therapy Approved for Some Children and Young Adults with Leukemia
FDA has approved tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah™), a type of immunotherapy called CAR T-cell therapy, for some children and young adults with advanced acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
- Studies Identify Potential Treatment Strategies for Pediatric DIPG Brain Tumors
Two studies have identified proteins that drive growth of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) tumor cells. Blocking these targets with investigational drugs slowed tumor growth in animal models.
- Avelumab Becomes First Approved Treatment for Patients with Merkel Cell Carcinoma
The FDA has approved the first drug ever for the rare skin cancer, Merkel cell carcinoma, and updated data show an improved tumor response rate and that patients’ tumors continued to respond for at least a year.
- New Mouse Model Closely Mimics Most Common Leukemia in Infants
Researchers have created a long-sought-after mouse model for an aggressive form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia that occurs commonly in infants and that the researchers believe can accelerate the development of new therapies for the disease.
- TARGET Initiative Fueling Progress against Childhood Leukemia
Research from TARGET, an NCI-funded program supporting genomic analyses of childhood cancers, has led to the launch of several clinical trials of targeted therapies to treat children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
- The Impact and Future of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study: An Interview with Greg Armstrong, M.D.
Dr. Greg Armstrong of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study discusses this long-running study and its future.
- Toward Precision Therapy for Children with Cancer: An Interview with Dr. Javed Khan
NCI’s Dr. Javed Khan discusses a new NCI clinical program and the promise and challenges of genome-guided therapy for children with cancer.
- New Drug for Pediatric Neuroblastoma Shows Promise in Preclinical Studies
An international research team has identified a possible new treatment target for pediatric neuroblastoma and is planning an early-stage clinical trial of a drug that inhibits this target.
- Study Sheds Light on Role of Inherited Mutations in Childhood Cancer
In the most comprehensive study of its kind conducted to date, more than 8 percent of children with cancer were found to have inherited genetic mutations associated with a predisposition to the disease.
- For Some Children with Cancer, Genomic Information May Help Guide Treatment Decisions
Genomic methods, such as DNA sequencing, may help doctors manage the treatment of children and young adults with cancer.
- NCI Initiative to Speed Development of Childhood Cancer Therapies
NCI has awarded grants to five research teams to participate in its Pediatric Preclinical Testing Consortium, which is intended to help to prioritize which agents to pursue in pediatric clinical trials.
- Cancer Risk in Childhood Cancer Survivors Continues for Decades
Survivors of childhood cancer have an elevated risk of developing second, distinct cancers into their forties and beyond, according to a new study.
- Setting the Course: Genomics Workshop on Childhood Cancers Identifies Research Opportunities
NCI recently convened a workshop to discuss the status of genomic characterization for childhood cancers and to identify opportunities for future research.
- Better Care for Children with Cancer Linked to Longer Lifespans
New data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study suggest that refinements in pediatric cancer treatment over the last few decades have helped to extend the lifespans of many survivors of childhood cancer.
- Looking to the Future of Childhood Cancer Research
NCI’s Dr. Malcolm Smith discusses future directions of childhood cancer research, including treatment directions and clinical trials.