Overcoming treatment resistance in neuroblastoma

This project was selected in the framework of our European call: FIGHT KIDS CANCER 2021. It is jointly financed by Imagine for Margo, Kriibskrank Kanner Fondatioun and KickCancer.

It is thanks to your participation in RUN TO KICK 2021 that this innovative project is funded!

Click here to watch Dr. Louis Chesler and Dr. Alejandra Bruna explain this innovative FIGHT KIDS CANCER project.

Neuroblastoma is one of the most common solid tumours in children. It is called an extracerebral malignancy because it develops from the nervous system but is not located in the brain (mainly in the abdomen, sometimes along the spine or in the adrenal glands).

The translational research project "COMBALK" is aimed at children with high-risk neuroblastoma whose tumour has an alteration in the "ALK" gene and in whom first-line treatment does not work. This represents between 12 to 15% of the neuroblastoma patients.

This project aims at identifying new treatments to improve the cure rate of these young patients whose chances of survival are currently very low.

The researchers found that the ALK protein plays an important role in the growth of cancer cells in patients with a mutation in the "ALK" gene.

Lorlatinib is a targeted therapy that prevents cell division and inhibits the growth of cancer cells. In particular, Lorlatinib inhibits the activity of the ALK protein present in these neuroblastoma patients.

Lorlatinib is now used in first-line treatment in addition to chemotherapy and local treatment. Despite this, many patients develop resistance to this treatment.

This project aims at improving our understanding of the role of the protein ALK and other factors in the development of neuroblastoma in children and at identifying the mechanisms of resistance to this ALK inhibitor. It will then aim at identifying possible new treatments and combinations to overcome those resistances.

This project aims at identifying news treatment options for children with neuroblastoma. As a result, the project will benefit all children (Belgian, European and beyond!) if the study’s conclusions are encouraging.

Overcoming treatment resistance in neuroblastoma

  • Financed: €500 000
    More than 85% of your donations go to financing research and supporting our advocacy work, less than 15% go to administration.
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Countries: UK, France
  • Disease: Neuroblastoma
  • Status: Ongoing

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