publication date: Jan. 25, 2017

Pediatric Cancers Early-phase Study Shows Shrinkage in Pediatric Neural Tumors

In an early-phase clinical trial of a new oral drug, selumetinib, children with the common genetic disorder neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and plexiform neurofibromas, tumors of the peripheral nerves, tolerated selumetinib and, in most cases, responded to it with tumor shrinkage. NF1 affects one in 3,000 people.

The study results appeared Dec. 29, 2016, in the New England Journal of Medicine. The multicenter phase I clinical trial, which included 24 patients, was led by Brigitte Widemann, acting chief of the NCI Pediatric Oncology Branch, and was sponsored by NCI’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program.

The study, conducted at the NIH Clinical Center and three participating sites, took advantage of techniques developed by Widemann’s team that enabled very precise measurement of the plexiform neurofibromas. Experiments in mice that developed neurofibromas due to genetic modifications were performed at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in the laboratory of Nancy Ratner.

Plexiform neurofibromas develop in up to 50 percent of people with NF1. The majority of these tumors, which can cause significant pain, disability, and disfigurement, are diagnosed in early childhood and grow most rapidly prior to adolescence.

Complete surgical removal of the tumors is rarely feasible, and incompletely resected tumors tend to grow back. The primary aim of this clinical trial was to evaluate the toxicity and safety … Continue reading CCL Jan 2017 – Early-phase Study Shows Shrinkage in Pediatric Neural Tumors

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