This project is funded in partnership with the RACP Foundation and is known as The Kids’ Cancer Project Research Establishment Fellowship Grant.
Treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) represents one of the success stories of modern medicine. As recently as the 1950s, children diagnosed with ALL were treated with palliative intent. However, currently the five-year survival rate for standard-risk patients exceeds 90 per cent. This incredible success is attributed to the collaborative clinical trials conducted by international cooperative groups.
Unfortunately, infants diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (iALL) at less than one year of age remain the exception to this success. Those babies with high-risk features have only a 40 per cent chance of survival. Their young age and the aggressive nature of the disease make it very challenging to find better drug combinations.
During this two-year study, four novel drugs will follow a detailed road map for pre-clinical testing. The evidence generated will provide urgently needed information for a planned collaborative international iALL clinical trial to treat infants diagnosed with the disease around the globe through the International iALL Clinical Trials Consortium. Dr Rishi Kotecha, a key member of this consortium, will propose translation of effective novel agents identified from this research project into the next generation of clinical trials for iALL.