Trial of targeted treatment for children’s cancers underway

As part of a clinical trial funded by Cancer Research UK (CRUK), hundreds of children whose cancers have recurred will receive tumour sequencing in an effort to provide more targeted treatment.

The trial—a European initiative called eSmart—uses the genetic code of each tumour to match it to drug and treatment combinations not previously available. In this way, the eSmart trial increases the number of potential treatments options, and can even offer new drugs as soon as they become available.

According to CRUK, children eligible for the bespoke treatment are able to begin treatment within just a few weeks of having their tumour sequenced. For those with limited treatment options, this rapidity may have significant benefits.

At present, the trial is underway at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, but will be extended to sites in Birmingham and Newcastle and to Great Ormond Street Hospital in the coming months.