SIOP Europe is calling for the age of entry to clinical trials to be reduced to 12 years in all early phase studies (where medically justified) to enable children/adolescents with cancer to have better access to medicines.
Survival for many adults with cancer has significantly improved in recent years thanks to innovative targeted drugs. Innovative and experimental therapies are curing the more difficult to treat cancers like never before in today’s ‘golden age’ of cancer research. However, such treatments for children/adolescents regrettably still lag far behind. Today, the vast majority of children are still treated with conventional chemotherapy, which may lead to long term health problems due to the late effects of treatments.
Unfortunately, the current reality is that a child or adolescent may not benefit from a potentially life-saving treatment because clinical trials often exclude those aged 18 years and below. The reason for this is not related to safety and science but simply because ‘this is the way things have been done’. If adult trials were more flexible with their age of entry, this could generate more opportunities for better access to medicines for children and adolescents with cancer.
Read the full FAIR Trails article on ScitechEuropa.