- Long term outcome of high-risk neuroblastoma patients after immunotherapy with antibody ch14.18 or oral metronomic chemotherapy (2011)
- Background: The treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma patients consists of multimodal induction therapy to achieve remission followed by consolidation therapy to prevent relapses. However, the type of consolidation therapy is still discussed controversial. We applied metronomic chemotherapy in the prospective NB90 trial and monoclonal anti-GD2-antibody (MAB) ch14.18 in the NB97 trial. Here, we present the long term outcome data of the patient cohort. Methods: A total of 334 stage 4 neuroblastoma patients one year or older were included. All patients successfully completed the induction therapy. In the NB90 trial, 99 patients received at least one cycle of the oral maintenance chemotherapy (NB90 MT, 12 alternating cycles of oral melphalan/etoposide and vincristine/cyclophosphamide). In the NB97 trial, 166 patients commenced the MAB ch14.18 consolidation therapy (six cycles over 12 months). Patients who received no maintenance therapy according to the NB90 protocol or by refusal in NB97 (n = 69) served as controls. Results: The median observation time was 11.11 years. The nine-year event-free survival rates were 41 ± 4%, 31 ± 5%, and 32 ± 6% for MAB ch14.18, NB90 MT, and no consolidation, respectively (p = 0.098). In contrast to earlier reports, MAB ch14.18 treatment improved the long-term outcome compared to no additional therapy (p = 0.038). The overall survival was better in the MAB ch14.18-treated group (9-y-OS 46 ± 4%) compared to NB90 MT (34 ± 5%, p = 0.026) and to no consolidation (35 ± 6%, p = 0.019). Multivariable Cox regression analysis revealed ch14.18 consolidation to improve outcome compared to no consolidation, however, no difference between NB90 MT and MAB ch14.18-treated patients was found. Conclusions: Follow-up analysis of the patient cohort indicated that immunotherapy with MAB ch14.18 may prevent late relapses. Finally, metronomic oral maintenance chemotherapy also appeared effective.
- Creating a unique, multi-stakeholder Paediatric Oncology Platform to improve drug development for children and adolescents with cancer (2014)
- Seven years after the launch of the European Paediatric Medicine Regulation, limited progress in paediatric oncology drug development remains a major concern amongst stakeholders – academics, industry, regulatory authorities, parents, patients and caregivers. Restricted increases in early phase paediatric oncology trials, legal requirements and regulatory pressure to propose early Paediatric Investigation Plans (PIPs), missed opportunities to explore new drugs potentially relevant for paediatric malignancies, lack of innovative trial designs and no new incentives to develop drugs against specific paediatric targets are some unmet needs. Better access to new anti-cancer drugs for paediatric clinical studies and improved collaboration between stakeholders are essential. The Cancer Drug Development Forum (CDDF), previously Biotherapy Development Association (BDA), with Innovative Therapy for Children with Cancer Consortium (ITCC), European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE) and European Network for Cancer Research in Children and Adolescents (ENCCA) has created a unique Paediatric Oncology Platform, involving multiple stakeholders and the European Union (EU) Commission, with an urgent remit to improve paediatric oncology drug development. The Paediatric Oncology Platform proposes to recommend immediate changes in the implementation of the Regulation and set the framework for its 2017 revision; initiatives to incentivise drug development against specific paediatric oncology targets, and repositioning of drugs not developed in adults. Underpinning these changes is a strategy for mechanism of action and biology driven selection and prioritisation of potential paediatric indications rather than the current process based on adult cancer indications. Pre-competitive research and drug prioritisation, early portfolio evaluation, cross-industry cooperation and multi-compound/sponsor trials are being explored, from which guidance for innovative trial designs will be provided.