New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT) Consortium
Neuroblastoma is the second most common solid cancer of children, and less than 50% of children survive who have the widespread (metastatic) form of the disease. The New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT) consortium is a group of 13 university children’s cancer centers that are dedicated to finding cures for this disease.
The aims of our studies are to test new therapies that are designed to attack neuroblastomas that have become resistant to standard treatments. NANT investigators design and carry out carefully controlled and monitored treatment protocols that test new therapies. These have been developed in our cooperating laboratories and have proven effectiveness in laboratory models of neuroblastoma. The protocols establish the highest dose that can be given safely, define side effects, and determine activity against neuroblastoma. Special tests are done to see if the treatments are effective against the cancer and to show what levels of drugs or other agents can be achieved in the patient. Examples of agents being investigated include targeted radiotherapy with I-MIBG, a compound specifically taken up by neuroblastoma; CEP-701, a drug that interferes with the ability of the TRK gene to stimulate growth and enhance survival of tumor cells; a new “child friendly” liquid formulation of fenretinide, a retinoid that causes the neuroblastoma cells to die but does not affect normal blood cells; and other agents that overcome drug resistance seen often in relapsed neuroblastoma.