In November, 2014, Soupy for Loopy Foundation donated the requested amount of $44,907 toward a national clinical trial that will test the safety of combining a newer oral anti-cancer drug called sorafenib with standard chemotherapy drugs, hoping to enhance treatment against relapsed neuroblastoma. This trial is being conducted by New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT). NANT is a consortium comprised of a wide geographic group of institutions throughout North America, committed to working together on clinical trials of novel approaches to treating high-risk neuroblastoma. “Soupy for Loopy is committed to funding medical research that will improve survival rates for children diagnosed with neuroblastoma and gladly supports NANT in their collaborative efforts to do so” said Sandra Kosko, President of Soupy for Loopy Foundation.
The following summary was provided by Dr. Hung C. Tran, Principal Investigator, Division of Hematology/Oncology/BMT, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California:
Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumor affecting children. Patients with high risk neuroblastoma continue to do poorly. Only 45% of all high risk disease patients are able to achieve long term disease-free survival. We need to develop and establish new therapies for this disease. In recent years, numerous advances have been made regarding our understanding of tumors and their interactions with the immune system. The immune system plays a crucial role in keeping tumors in check. However, tumors often hijack and exploit immune cells (such as macrophages) to promote their own growth and metastasis. Our studies in mice have demonstrated that by using the drug sorafenib in combination with standard chemotherapy drugs (topotecan and cyclophosphamide), we can disrupt this interaction and restore macrophage immune cells to their original function of fighting and eliminating tumors. In this Phase I trial, we are testing the safety and effectiveness of combining sorafenib with topotecan and cyclophosphamide for patients with recurrent and relapsed disease. We seek to better understand how sorafenib works by interrupting tumor cell communication and blocking a crucial signaling pathway (called STAT3). These results will be correlated with the concentration of sorafenib detected in the blood. If successful, information from this clinical trial will be used to design future trials to test the effectiveness of this regimen and strategy.
Although this clinical trial is also partially supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) through the Program Project Grant (PPG), it does not provide support for pharmacokinetics and biological correlative studies and that is where funding from Soupy for Loopy comes in. “Correlative studies are a crucial component of clinical trials because they provide an in-depth understanding of how our drugs work to combat neuroblastoma” said Dr. Hung C. Tran. “We are grateful for the support from the Soupy for Loopy Foundation to enable us to perform these studies.”
Funds will support NANT 2013-02 Phase I Study of Sorafenib with Cyclophosphamide and Topotecan in Patients with Relapsed and Refractory Neuroblastoma.
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