A team from the University of Birmingham will organise the UK arm of a critical European clinical trial for children diagnosed with a rare and aggressive childhood cancer called neuroblastoma.

According to the University of Birmingham, the trial could lead to the development of more effective and less invasive treatments for children diagnosed with the rare disease.

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The trial is funded by a collaborative grant of about £609,762 which was granted by Solving Kids’ Cancer with Neuroblastoma UK.

The ten year SIOPEN High-Risk Neuroblastoma Clinical Trial 2 (HR-NBL2) is a Phase III clinical trial designed to evaluate potential treatment pathways for children identified with the disease.

Scheduled to open early next year, the funding will make the study the only upfront UK clinical trial for children diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma.

University of Birmingham Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit (CRCTU) senior trial coordinator Emma Pond said: “It’s fantastic to have been given this opportunity by Solving Kid’s Cancer and Neuroblastoma UK to bring this trial to UK neuroblastoma patients.

“We are grateful for the hard work of our UK investigators in our successful grant application and we look forward to working with them to open the trial for patients in early 2021.”

At least 100 children a year in the UK are diagnosed with neuroblastoma, with around half classified under high-risk neuroblastoma.

Last week, the University of Birmingham said it was set to launch the CATALYST trial to evaluate various drugs for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.