There are currently two main clinical trials underway for neuroblastoma:
The Siopen trial is in place to improve our knowledge about how best to treat patients with neuroblastoma and brings together doctors from across Europe and beyond. Patients treated on Siopen protocols will receive the same treatment regardless of which centre they are treated. Actual treatment recommendations will depend on the disease risk group and other factors. By collecting information from many different centres, it is possible to see how well different treatments have worked and gain knowledge about how best to treat patients in the future.
Some studies include a randomisation – where one set of treatments are compared against another in order to determine which works better or has fewer side effects. The randomisation means that each patient joining the study is allocated by chance to one treatment or the other, rather than this being decided by your doctor. The results for both groups in the trial are watched closely by an independent monitoring committee. They can stop the trial at any time if one of the treatments is shown to be better than the other.
Cancer Research UK scientists and paediatric cancer specialists have launched the BEACON-neuroblastoma trial*, which aims to find the best chemotherapy regimen for children and young adults with recurring or resistant neuroblastoma. Researchers will also investigate whether blocking the growth of new blood vessels supplying the tumours can enhance this treatment.
More information on clinical trials can be found on www.nhs.uk