More cures and better cures. With the dual purpose of improving survival and reducing sequelae, Gustave Roussy is contributing to ambitious research programmes in Paediatric Oncology and to the management of young adults.
Today, less than 10% of young patients in Europe in relapse have access to a new drug. For Professor Vassal, Director of Clinical Research, “The issue is to speed up access to novel treatments for children and adolescents with treatment failure.” To achieve this, the Institute is embarking on two new clinical trials. Since late December 2015, MAPPYACTS has been determining the molecular portrait of 300 young patients. The ImmunoACTS study is integrated with this project and seeks to characterize the immune cells which are present. The long-term objective is to develop bespoke drugs able to block the immune cells which are responsible for the observed resistance to treatment. The Acsé-eSMART trial, which will commence shortly, will test several novel agents in 250 children. It is hoped over 2 years to double the number of new drugs tailored to the defined molecular portraits.
Whereas progress in recent decades means that 80% of young patients can be cured, almost 2/3 of them run the risk of sequelae. Assessing in adult life the consequences of treatments administered to patients in childhood is also a way of improving the management of children who are being treated today. Gustave Roussy has, therefore, established a Long-Term Follow-up Clinic to inform patients and to detect and treat late complications in adults whose childhood cancer was cured.