"I was delighted to take part in a clinical trial as it has the potential to really help others in the future.”
A trial looking at chemotherapy for children and young people with advanced neuroblastoma (NB 2006 05)
More about this trial
Neuroblastoma is a rare type of cancer that develops in nerve cells, most commonly in nerve cells of the
Children with neuroblastoma usually have a combination of treatments including
- the risk group - if there is a low, medium or high risk of the cancer coming back after treatment
Sometimes the treatment doesn’t work very well, or the cancer comes back after treatment (recurs). If this happens it is more difficult to treat.
Vincristine and doxorubicin are
This trial aimed to find out:
- if treatment with topotecan, vincristine and doxorubicin (also known as TVD) could shrink neuroblastoma
- about the side effects of TVD
The trial was for children over 1 year and young people under the age of 20 with advanced neuroblastoma. They were at high risk of their cancer coming back after treatment. And their
Summary of results
The trial team found that TVD helped some children and young people with advanced, high risk neuroblastoma.
63 children and young people took part. Everyone had TVD. They had treatment in 3 week periods called cycles of treatment.
They had topotecan on days 1 to 5 through their central line. This was followed by vincristine and doxorubicin non stop through a pump over days 5 and 6. They had no treatment in weeks 2 or 3. After the first cycle of treatment the children and young people had tests to find out if treatment had worked.
Everyone had a good enough response so they all had another cycle of treatment over 6 weeks. After the second cycle of treatment, everyone had tests to find out if treatment had continued to work.
The trial team analysed the test results after 2 courses of TVD and:
- the cancer went away in 4 children and young people– doctors call this a
- in 28 the cancer got smaller – this is called a
- in 16 children and young people, where the neuroblastoma had spread to other parts of the body, these areas had got smaller
- in 14 children and young people the cancer stopped growing (doctors call this
The neuroblastoma continued to grow during the TVD treatment for 1 child taking part.
For 23 out of the 63 young people, the TVD worked well enough to have the next phase of their treatment plan. This is called high dose treatment.
The researchers also found that TVD worked better for neuroblastoma that had spread to the
The trial team also looked at the
The trial team concluded that TVD can help children and young people with advanced neuroblastoma. They recommend more clinical trials comparing TVD with other first line chemotherapy treatments.
How to join a clinical trial
Dr G. Makin
Cancer Research UK Children's Cancer Trials Team
University of Birmingham
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer