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New hope in the fight against childhood cancer
Date:7/11/2013

lls up from their slumber and thereby restore the anti-cancer activity to attack the tumour. This process is already being used in adult trials for a range of cancers including skin, head and neck and pancreatic cancer. This pre-clinical data will allow Dr Gray and her team to design the first peadiatric clinical trials.

Dr Gray, who is also a paediatric oncologist at Southampton General Hospital, adds: "Neuroblastoma affects around 100 children in the UK each year with most cases being diagnosed under the age of five. It is a serious disease but we need to be clear about how to move forward with it. There are a number of things that make conducting a clinical trial in children very challenging. Therefore, it is important that we learn as much as we can in the lab, in advance of a clinical trial, about how this type of therapy can be best used in childhood cancers."

Cancer Research UK scientist, Professor Martin Glennie, Head of the Cancer Sciences at the University of Southampton, who also worked on the study, says: "We very much hope these results will enable us to develop a pioneering immunotherapy treatment for a childhood cancer. In theory this approach enables us to kill cancer cells without damaging healthy cells, resulting in fewer toxic side effects such as hair loss, nausea and tiredness.

"The next stage of our work will be to see if the treatment is a safe and effective treatment for children and also seek to understand how these antibodies can be used in combination with other treatments to maximise their effect."


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Contact: Becky Attwood
r.attwood@soton.ac.uk
44-023-805-95457
University of Southampton
Source:Eurekalert

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