Genomic Testing provides further evidence that children are denied the latest cancer drugs

A study instigated and primarily funded by Christopher’s Smile has shown that more children would benefit from the latest cancer drugs developed for adult cancers if they were made available.  The study at the Institute of Cancer Research published  the results of genomic tests from the tumours of 223 children.  It found that 51% of the children’s tumours tested contain ‘actionable mutations’, that is where a drug exists that is a known possible treatment.  However only 7% of children actually were treated with new targeted drugs.

Christopher’s Smile has been a pioneer in the funding of genetic testing of paediatric tumours and funded the development of the first specific test that is used in the clinical setting.  This test has been included in the NHS England Genomic Test Directory and is available in England funded by the NHS.

The next step is Liquid Biopsies where circulating tumour DNA in a sample of blood or cerebral spinal fluid is used to determine the genetic abnormalities in a child’s tumour.  This technology is already being used in the adult setting.  Christopher’s Smile has embarked on its largest ever project to bring Liquid Biopsies into the clinic for children.  Working with the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Trust in Sutton we are striving to make Liquid Biopsies a reality for children in the UK.

Please see links below:

Institute of Cancer Research online article:

BBC News Online article:

Daily Mail online: