Phase I clinical trial will investigate the use of the measles virus to kill medulloblastoma - the most common childhood brain cancer
Trial emphasizes non-toxic and more effective treatments for childhood brain cancer
PHILADELPHIA - September 1, 2016 - No More Kids with CancerÒ and The Naya FoundationÒ are pleased to announce a $155,000 award to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco (UCSF). The $155,000 award will be directed to the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC) for a Phase I clinical trial to determine the effectiveness of an engineered measles virus to kill medulloblastoma - a common form of childhood brain cancer.
Based at the UCSF campus in San Francisco, PNOC is led by Sabine Mueller, M.D., Ph.D., MAS and Michael Prados M.D., FACP. In pre-trial research, PNOC scientists demonstrated the modified measles virus could be used to safely and effectively treat children with medulloblastoma. Now a Phase I clinical trial, the trial's objectives include determining the safety of giving the modified measles virus to children, the best method of delivering the virus to the tumor and cancer cells, and the appropriate dosage levels to be effective.
"Today's childhood cancer treatments are highly toxic, often leaving children with acute health issues and life threatening conditions when they become adults," said Dr. Mueller, also Director of UCSF Pediatric Brain Tumor Center. "Survival is not the only goal today. We're not only focused on curing childhood brain cancer; we're also seeking treatments that are non-toxic. The advancements in science and technology have enabled more discoveries we hope will improve survival rates and give children a better future."
"Children with cancer deserve better treatments than drugs developed 50 years ago," said Amy Summy, co-Founder and President of No More Kids with Cancer. "The vast majority of today's cancer breakthroughs are for adult cancers. This innovative trial brings the latest advances in cancer research to kids. We want to thank UCSF and the PNOC team for their vision and perseverance, and our donors for making this grant possible. We hope this trial moves the ball forward for children and their families battling the horrors of childhood brain cancer."
Families and researchers can find out more about the trial by visiting pnoc.us.
The Phase I trial uses the measles virus to infect and destroy cancer cells while leaving normal cells intact, an approach known as oncolytic virotherapy. Using an engineered form of the measles virus to kill cancer cells was demonstrated in a clinical trial at the Mayo Clinic. Led by the Mayo Clinic's Stephen Russell, M.D., Ph.D., researchers showed the modified measles virus could be effective against multiply myeloma, a deadly cancer. The findings appear in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Led by Corey Raffel, M.D., Ph.D., researchers at PNOC have been leveraging the Mayo Clinic research to investigate the effectiveness of the measles virus in childhood brain cancer.
Cancer takes the lives of more children than any other disease in the United States. Childhood cancer research is severely underfunded, resulting in few new treatment options and drugs for children. Today, most children receive highly-toxic treatments developed as far back as the 1950s, and most survivors live with debilitating, lifethreatening side effects. Brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in children, and survival rates are significantly lower (sometimes 0%) than overall childhood cancer survival rates. The current treatments for children with medulloblastoma, the most common form of childhood brain cancer, were developed nearly 60 years ago, and involve brain surgery, intense radiation, and months of chemotherapy. These treatments have serious and life threatening side effects including 100 times greater risk of stroke, six times greater likelihood of secondary cancer, and greater likelihood of premature death.
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The Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC) is a network of 15 children's hospitals that conduct clinical trials of new therapies for children with brain tumors. Our goal is to improve outcomes by translating the latest findings in cancer biology into better treatments for these children.
Patients with brain tumors that cannot be treated with standard therapy, or that have recurred following standard therapy, are often eligible for clinical trials. Clinical trials provide access to promising new treatments that may not be available outside specialized centers.
At PNOC, our focus is personalized medicine - testing new therapies that are specific to the biology of each patient's tumor to maximize their effectiveness. Our goal is to improve overall outcome for children with brain tumors.
No More Kids with CancerÒ is a nonprofit research accelerator. We serve children with cancer - and the doctors and researchers working to save them - who urgently need alternatives to the 50s-era, inhumane, side-effect-laden standard treatments used today. We are a national organization focused exclusively on accelerating discovery of non-toxic, effective, modern treatments for children with cancer. No More Kids with Cancer backs groundbreaking translational research - such as gene sequencing, pre-clinical and clinical trials - that leverages the latest understanding in cancer biology and advancements in technology to bring non-toxic, and more effective treatments to children. Collaborating with leading scientists - who share our belief that more research leads to more options - we're working toward our vision of No More Kids with Cancer.
Inquiries from media and organizations interested in collaborating with No More Kids with Cancer should contact: Amy Summy +1.610.742.4500 firstname.lastname@example.org No More Kids with Cancer and The Naya Foundation are registered trademarks of The Naya Foundation. The Naya Foundation is 501(c)(3) public charity.