The government of Monaco is backing the work and efforts of the Centre Scientifique de Monaco to revolutionise the treatment of brain cancer in children by offering to part fund clinical trials to the tune of €200,000.
The Mependax (Medulloblastoma, EPENDymoma, AXitinib) clinical trial was launched in June 2023 and “repurposes” a Pfizer molecule that is already used to treat adult cancer patients to fight brain cancers in children.
The trial, headed up by paediatric oncologist Nicolas Andre from the Timone Hospital in Marseille, will be made up of 36 patients who are currently being treated at eight different health care centres in France, and will help “to determine the effectiveness and lower toxicity of metronomic administration of axitinib in combination with reduced doses of traditional chemotherapy”.
Results of preclinical research carried out by scientists at the Centre Scientifique de Monaco (CSM) show that axitinib, when given according to a “metronomic” plan, can be at least as effective as current therapies, whilst also having an improved toxicity profile. In real terms, this could mean cancer patients being treated with this molecule could suffer less harsh side effects. It also reduces the resistance risk in cancer treatments.
Christophe Robino, Monaco’s Councillor-Minister of Social Affairs and Health, alongside Adrien Baron of the Timone hospital and Denis Maccario, President of the Flavien Foundation, which has also provided significant support to the project, signed an agreement on 9th October to formalise a collaboration between the Monegasque government and the Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Marseille (AP-HM).
Said Robino of the trials, “We must still reflect on the way in which we can better understand and satisfy the needs of children affected by cancer, as well as those of their families and caregivers.”
YEARS IN THE MAKING
The CSM have been working on targeted anti-cancer therapies for children since November 2015, using treatments that were proven effective in adults as the basis.
The total cost of the trail is €620,000. Private donations are very welcome and can be made by clicking here.
Read more about the work of the CSM and the clinical trials here:
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Photo source: Monaco Communications Department