Assorted news from the last week:
The largest single cell study to date of the childhood cancer, neuroblastoma, has answered important questions about the genesis of the disease. The researchers from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology, discovered that all neuroblastomas arise from a single type of embryonic cell called sympathoblasts.
Health experts say the fear of COVID-19 in the past year has forced people to delay treatment of children undergoing cancer and anti-cancer therapies. More here.
The landscape for pediatric oncology drugs expanded dramatically last year, with 8 new drugs or indications specifically approved for children compared with just 47 for treatment and supportive care products from the early 1950s through 2019.
Another effort is developing a cancer immunotherapy research network to address challenges in the development of immunotherapies for childhood cancers. The Pediatric Immunotherapy Discovery and Development Network (PI-DDN) has been studying major barriers to the development of immune-based treatments for children and adolescents, such as the lower expression of proteins that can be recognized by immune cells and the immunosuppressive environments of tumors in some childhood cancers.
A recent study supported by PI-DDN suggested that some children with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia that recurs or resists treatment may benefit from certain immunotherapy drugs.
To implement the Blue Ribbon Panel’s recommendation to intensify research into drivers of childhood cancers, NCI has created the Fusion Oncoproteins in Childhood Cancers (FusOnC2) Consortium.
A related program is MyPART: My Pediatric and Adult Rare Tumors Network. MyPART is working with advocacy groups to raise awareness about rare tumors among researchers, increase access to biospecimens for rare tumor research, and connect patients with investigators. The network has already developed a pipeline for biospecimen collection and analysis, a strong communication platform with patients and patient advocates, and established several new specialized rare tumor clinics around the country.
From President von der Leyen to the European Society for Paediatric Oncology: “. . . And today I am proud to announce that we have just adopted our proposal for Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. It is a plan to put innovation and new technologies at the service of cancer care. It is a plan for prevention and early detection. And crucially, it includes a new initiative called Helping Children with Cancer.”
Upcoming Webinars and Online Opportunities:
Webinar on How to Host a Virtual Fundraising Event: A Step-by-Step Guide for Nonprofits. Date: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 Time: 1pm EST / 10am PST
13th Annual Childhood Cancer Therapy Update: SickKids Childhood Cancer Therapy Update (CCTU) brings together local, national and international experts to share leading practices and applied science. This year’s event will be held virtually over two days, February 3, 2021 and February 10, 2021.