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Crizotinib neuroblastoma study 'very promising'

A new way of using a drug called crizotinib in combination with a second class of drugs to treat neuroblastoma has shown “very promising” results, scientists said.

Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research in London used crizotinib with mTOR inhibitors to overcome the resistance of cancer cells, the paper published in the journal Cancer Cell revealed.

Early experience of crizotinib in the US, where it has already been licensed for use in adult cancers, indicates that tumours develop additional mutations in the ALK gene targeted by the drug and, ultimately, stop responding to the treatment.

Senior author Dr Louis Chesler, leader of the neuroblastoma drug development team at The Institute of Cancer Research and honorary consultant at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, described the results when using crizotinib with an mTOR inhibitor as “very promising”.

“Many mTOR inhibitors are already in adult clinical trials,” he added.

The research was led by The Institute of Cancer Research in collaboration with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital in Boston.

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