Pediatric Cancer Highlights from 'Moonshot' Report

The Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy congratulates the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative - and specifically the Pediatric Cancer Working Group - on this week's release of ten cancer policy recommendations on research, clinical trials, data mining, prevention and patient engagement.

Related: See Pediatric Cancer Working Group Report

The panel's report, which was accepted by the National Cancer Advisory Board and the National Cancer Institute, was forwarded to a Moonshot Task Force headed by Vice President Biden and comprised of government representatives.  Next month, the task force is scheduled to issue a report about proposed government initiatives relating to cancer.

By design, the NCI Moonshot report focused on promising arenas where progress is imminent. 

Of note to Children’s Cause are the following pediatric cancer recommendations:

Survivorship/Symptom management research: The report calls for the development of guidelines for routine monitoring and management of patient-reported symptoms in all care settings, throughout the cancer continuum, including survivorship.   A central tenet of the proposed National Cancer Data Ecosystem is enabling the public, including patients, survivors, and others, to directly contribute their data, or to request a health care provider do so on their behalf, for scientific research.  

Testing Immunotherapies in Children: To enhance the speed with which new Immunotherapies can be tested in children, the reports recommends the establishment of a nationwide pediatric immunotherapy clinical trials network. This network would facilitate the testing of new immunotherapy approaches to treat childhood cancer and establish a robust research pipeline to help accelerate this field of study.

Oncoproteins: Oncoproteins are critical drivers of many childhood cancers and transform developmentally restricted cells of origin.  Few drugs target oncoproteins. The panel believes that a better understanding of oncoproteins will lead to the development of novel therapeutic approaches that target these biological mechanisms.  The panel hopes this focused research will lower barriers to pediatric oncology drug development and improve the effectiveness of therapies.

Children’s Cause looks forward to working with the Moonshot Task Force and with Congress on the proposed recommendations with the hope and expectation that new targeted research improve the treatments for children with cancer and maximize survivors’ well being.