Following the success of the first Fight Kids Cancer call for proposals that we had launched at the beginning of 2020 with the belgian KickCancer Foundation and the Luxembourg Kriibskrank Kanner Foundation, in collaboration with the European Science Foundation, we have launched a second call for proposals at the end of 2020.
28 projets from different European researchers were submitted, and 5 of them were selected according to three principles : patient impact, scientific excellence and innovation. These 5 projets will benefit from fundings from our association Imagine for Margo, KickCancer, Kriibskrank Kanner and also for the 1st time the italian Foundation FIAGOP, that is joining the initiative.
The ambition is to raise even more funds than in 2020 and therefore allocate more than 3 Million euros for these programs in order to accelerate the research.
100% of the funds that will be collected thanks to our annual charity race Children without Cancer – on September the 26th of 2021 – will be affected to Fight Kids Cancer programs, among others those 5 newly selected programs.
The objective of this early phase 1 clinical trial is to study the effectiveness of a new drug – regorafenib – in combination with traditional chemotherapy, for children with multimetastatic Ewing’s sarcoma at diagnosis stage, in order to improve their survival.
Improving the prognosis of patients with multimetastatic Ewing’s sarcoma is a major challenge. The median patient lifespan is 13 months, and half of relapses occur during treatment.
Early clinical data suggest that strategies using tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) with anti-angiogenic activities are among the most effective and may be of benefit in the treatment of patients with Ewing’s sarcoma. Based on its effectiveness data and its safety profile, regorafenib, which will be offered to patients included in this clinical trial, has been selected by the Euro Ewing Consortium as the most promising TKI.
Promoter: Gustave Roussy (France)
Principal investigator: Dr Pablo Berlanga
Countries concerned: France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands
Recruitment to begin: January 2022
Number of patients: 24
This program will create aunique global platform for early clinical trials in relapsed and refractory pediatric non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphoma (LNHB).
The goal is to quickly identify the most promising new treatments for children with this poor prognosis cancer, in order to make them accessible to as many people as possible.
The data and documents generated will meet the requirements for submission to regulatory authorities to support marketing authorization applications, ensuring that drugs that have been rigorously evaluated in a clinical trial can be widely available for children, teenagers and young adults with relapsed refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Longer-term benefit: possibility of benefiting the entire pediatric population with type B non-Hodgkin lymphoma if a new effective agent can be introduced into first-line treatment, thereby reducingthe current high burden of first-line treatment drug toxicity.
Global benefit: strengthen international collaboration in pediatric B-NHL andserve as a model for other diseases by demonstrating the feasibility of testing multiple new agents in a rare population in a global context using an efficient prioritizationof action mechanisms of new agents. Given the very large number of potential treatments, and the low number of patients (90 per year in Europe and the United States), only a streamlined approach, such as this global platform, can ensure that the most promising treatments will be quickly evaluated, thus avoiding multiple “impossible to complete” trials. This will bethe proof of concept that this approach is both feasible and has a high impact.
Sponsor: University of Birmigham, United Kingdom
Principal investigator: Amos Burke
Co-investigator France: Dr Véronique Minard, Gustave Roussy
Countries concerned: United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, North America, Australia, New Zealand
Duration: 7 years
Number of patients: 30
In partnership with the European consortium ITCC (Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer), the European Intergroup for Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (EICNHL) and the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) in the United States.
The goal of this program is at identifying new treatments for children with high-risk neuroblastoma who are resistant to Lorlatinib.
Lorlatinib, an ALK inhibitor, is starting to be used first in the treatment of high-risk neuroblastomas in cases where the tumors have genetic alterations in ALK (12 to 15% of patients). But some patients are likely to develop secondary resistance to treatment.
This program aims at identifying the principles and molecular mechanisms of resistance to the ALK inhibitor by applying state-of-the-art single-cell and functional approaches.
The results will be validated in preclinical trials predictive of patient responses to drugs in order to urgently anticipate the next effective way to refine current and future clinical trials, including a clinical trial for patients resistant to Lorlatinib.
Sponsor: Institute of Cancer Research, UK
Principal investigator: Louis Chesler
Co-investigator France: Dr Gudrun Schleiermacher (Institut Curie)
Countries concerned: United Kingdom, France
Duration: 2 years
Medulloblastoma is a high-risk childhood brain cancer with a high rate of relapse, a high rate of death after relapse, and a high incidence of long-term disability, secondary to current standard therapies. There is therefore an urgent need to find other treatment strategies that are more effective and have a more limited potential for side effects.
This program offers a new treatment strategy for medulloblastoma that combines a new drug and a cellular treatment called CAR-T cells. Both drug and cell therapy are adjusted to address a major resistance mechanism in medulloblastoma whereby the tumor protects itself from detection by the immune system. In order to achieve the goal of a more targeted and effective therapy for medulloblastoma, without the side effects of current approaches, this approach combines expertise in the local delivery of therapeutic CAR-T cells to brain tumors in order to facilitate rapid application to clinical trials.
The objective is to identify a new therapeutic protocol to develop a clinical trial that combines local administration of CAR-T cells with inhibition of the TGF-b pathway.
Principal investigator: John Anderson
Countries concerned: United Kingdom
Centers: University of Newcastle, University College London Institute of Child Health, Institute of Cancer Research
Duration: 2 years
Despite intensive multimodal therapy, the results of current treatments for high-risk neuroblastomas remain poor: more than half of patients relapse.
In the event of a relapse, patients are treated with chemotherapy (BEACON) and recently by chemo-immunotherapy (BEACON IMMUNO).
But the results are still limited: with chemo-immunotherapy, 33% of patients see their cancer progress after 1 year, and this rate rises to 60% after 2 years. In the long term, less than 10% of patients with recurrent neuroblastoma survive.
It is therefore necessary to develop more effective combination therapies. Only a thorough knowledge of the biology of tumors and the identification of groups of patients according to their molecular specificities will allow better treatment of this cancer.
This project will allow:
1) to identify potential new molecular targets which could lead to new combinations targeting several characteristics of cancer and addressing its complexity;
2) to analyze and compare recurrent neuroblastomas and refractory neuroblastomas to facilitate treatment decisions in future clinical trials;
3) to assess the prognostic impact of genomic aberrations in the RRNB. For example, the identification of aberrations of the ALK, ATRX or RAS / RAF pathways has led to the launch of specific clinical trials for these subpopulations. The data generated in this project will help understand resistance and facilitate the development of more powerful association strategies.
This project will be an example of international collaboration and the incorporation of biomarkers into clinical trials to guide future steps. It will have a major impact on the next European multi-arm, multi-stage trial on relapsing and refractory neuroblastoma which is currently planned by SIOPEN.
Promoter: Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research, Spain
Principal investigator: Dr Lucas Moreno
Countries concerned: United Kingdom, France, Spain
Duration: 2 years