Chasing Away Childhood Cancer

New Drug Significantly Increases Survival for Children with Neuroblastoma

A new study that is funded primarily by the Beat Nb Cancer Foundation found that oral therapy with DFMO reduces the rate of relapse and significantly increases survival for children with high-risk neuroblastoma. The research was led by Giselle Sholler and was co-led by Dr. Jacqueline Kraveka whose childhood cancer research lab we support at MUSC. Current treatments for neuroblastoma are harsh and often come with significant long-term effects for patients. DFMO works by targeting specific cancer stem cell pathways and “turning off” the cells, thereby preventing the cancer from growing back. 101 children took part in the study, receiving oral DFMO over a two-year period, with minimal side effects reported. At the completion of the study, the survival rate for the children who participated was 88%. That’s nearly a 20% increase from the typical survival rate for children two years into remission. In addition, the study demonstrated a 99% overall survival rate for 2 years. The results are very promising for those diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma.