The cure rates of children and adolescents with cancer have been increasing over the past decades thanks to clinical research. However, cancer remains the number one cause of death by disease in children and adolescents. In fact, it is responsible for more pediatric deaths than all other diseases combined. New drugs are needed to keep on reducing mortality, as well as to reduce the sequelae of the survivors.
Developing new drugs in children is challenging. Often, we lack essential tools to carry out clinical research, which leads us to use tools designed for adult patients. This is far from optimal, since children and adolescents have not only a different biology than adults, they also have different tumors, with different clinical characteristics, treatments, and outcomes.
RECIST is an essential tool to decide if a therapy is working in a patient and is indeed reducing the tumor. However, RECIST has not been validated for children trials.
With our international and collaborative project ped-RECIST, we want to study whether modifications to RECIST are needed for cancer clinical trials with children and adolescents. This requires of a global effort, which is why we have ensured the collaboration of the best pediatric oncology experts around the world. We believe that this project will greatly contribute to the discovery of new drugs, with the global aim of reducing the mortality and improving the quality of life of children and adolescents with cancer.