No research, no cure
In Switzerland, around 350 children and adolescents are newly diagnosed with cancer every year. As childhood cancer is a rare disease, research is not profitable for the pharmaceutical industry. However, alternative financing options must be found in order to further improve the chances of recovery and to reduce the long-term consequences of the often intensive treatment in favour of a higher quality of life. This is why Childhood Cancer Switzerland supports various research projects in the area of paediatric oncology. In addition, the umbrella organisation awards a sponsorship prize in the field of basic research every year, which recognises promising young researchers and their project.
In the field of clinical research. Childhood Cancer Switzerland supports select studies of its member organisation SPOG (Swiss Paediatric Oncology Group). These include:
LBL 2018 and B-NHL 2013: therapy optimisation trials for the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphomas
Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL) are the fourth most common childhood cancer. They cover a variety of malignant diseases of the lymphatic system in which certain white blood cells, called lymphocytes, turn into cancer cells and no longer perform their tasks in the immune system. Without treatment, these malignant cells will grow unhindered, leading to a life-threatening situation. The LBL 2018 trial aims to improve recovery rates and prevent the occurrence of relapses – especially in the brain and spinal cord. The aim of the B-NHL 2013 trial is to reduce side effects and long-term consequences of therapy in patients with a relatively unadvanced stage of the disease thanks to the additional administration of the drug rituximab in the treatment of some forms of non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Furthermore, it aims to improve the overall recovery rates for patients with (slightly) more advanced stages of the disease. In addition, the trial aims to promote a better understanding of the biology of the disease and the mechanisms of disease development in order to develop new drugs, therapeutic approaches and diagnostic methods.
PHITT trial: therapy optimisation trial to improve the treatment of liver cancer
Liver cancer is rare in children and adolescents and is usually treated with surgery and chemotherapy. The chances of recovery are between 50 and 100 per cent, depending on the characteristics of the disease, but the intensive chemotherapy can lead to severe, long-term side effects such as hearing loss, heart problems and secondary cancers. The PHITT trial aims to find better treatment strategies to improve patients’ chances of recovery and thus quality of life. The collected data will be analysed in order to determine the side effects of the treatment and the biological aspects of the cancer. Furthermore, it will be used to optimise existing surgical procedures for removing liver tumours and contribute to a better understanding of how the body deals with common treatment.
For more information on our member organisation SPOG click here.