A few years ago the RCH Children’s Cancer Centre (CCC) asked a critical question: to advance care, how do we go from where we are now to where we want to be in five years?
The answer — clinical trials.
Thanks to the support of Cancer Crusaders, the CCC has two Clinical Trial Coordinators administering a new clinical trials program aimed at improving overall survival and ongoing quality of life for children with cancer.
Though often confused with drug trials, clinical trials are aimed at developing new or improved methods of care.
This includes everything from innovative drug therapies, to the best combination of procedures to provide more effective and less toxic treatments for better long-term quality of life.
“Clinical trials are the backbone of care,” says Michael Sullivan, Head of Neuro-Oncology and Solid Tumour Programs.
“They provide access to the best level of international care. By participating in them, children at the RCH get the same care as those in big medical centres like New York.”
Two of the current clinical trials administered by the CCC include one created by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in America, which centres on a state-of-the-art approach to the diagnosis and management of medulloblastoma, a fast-growing, high-grade brain tumour.
The CCC is also running a clinical trial focused on personalised medicine, aimed at the molecular changes specific to certain tumours. Both clinical trials launched in the last nine months and are seeing positive results.
“We are extremely grateful to the RCH Auxiliaries for their funding support. Without their support, it would not be possible for us to do this important work.”