• October 6, 2020

Opening the black box of childhood cancer

Opening the black box of childhood cancer – results from a national personalised medicine program with significant outcomes for kids with aggressive cancer.

Luminesce Alliance partners the Children’s Cancer Institute and the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network has published an online paper in Nature Medicine outlining the first major results from  the Zero Childhood Cancer Personalised Medicine Program.

 Key results from the paper are:

  • The paper shares the results from a study of the first 250 children to be enrolled on the ZERO national clinical trial.
  • The lead authors for the paper were ZERO researchers, Associate Professors Paul Ekert, Mark Cowley, and David Ziegler, with the support of a vast team of researchers and clinicians.
  • In the study, the molecular basis of a child’s cancer was able to be found in more than 90% of cases. And in 70% of cases, at least one new potential treatment option was able to be identified within a clinically relevant timeframe of 9 weeks.
  •  32% of the children went on to receive the recommended personalised treatment and then had their response to treatment tracked over time, of these, 70% had a positive response: their tumour either stopped growing (40% of cases) or shrank (another 30% of cases). In some cases, the tumour completely regressed.
  • These promising results prove that understanding cancer at the molecular level can change outcomes for children with the most aggressive cancers, who in many cases have no other treatment options available.