Every individual child in the UK with cancer will get their tumors’ DNA sequenced in order to find the best treatment and drugs available in order to catch up to the US and Europe’s advancements.
The charity organization Children with Cancer UK announced today that £1.5 million funds will go to youngsters’ screening and treatment that will be more effective as well as less toxic.
Sequencing DNA from tumors will allow the doctors to find drugs specifically made for specific cancer genetic codes, meaning some children may be spared having to undergo chemotherapy.
Louis Chesler, a professor in the Institute of Cancer Research, who also leads this initiative stated: “Integration of modern technologies to cancer treatment is very important because it maximises the chance of developing a new generation of ‘targeted’ cancer drugs.
“It is incredibly exciting and their application to children’s cancers could be ground-breaking, but only if the drugs are properly applied to patients with very precise knowledge about the unique changes in genes, proteins and cancer cells that occur in each child’s tumour.
“This funding will help us move towards a more comprehensive and structured approach to genetic testing to match children with cancer to specific targeted treatments, which could be an incredibly important step towards increasing survival and reducing the side-effects of treatment.”
The organization remains hopeful that screening can also improve the treatments available for high-risk and rare cancers that have low survival rates.
“Our ambition is that all children, teenagers and young adults diagnosed with cancer in the UK have access to Precision Medicine through the NHS within the framework of clinical trials,” stated Chief Executive at Children with Cancer UK, Cliff O’Gorman.
“This ground-breaking funding will help develop the first programme for Precision Medicine for young cancer patients in the UK, already started in parts of the USA and Europe.”