More Cures for Kids with Cancer

More Cures for Kids with Cancer

A clinical trial for a new immunotherapy drug was showing great promise for kids, and it helped Nyah get back into remission so she could receive a life-saving bone marrow transplant.

Nyah Green was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was 10 years old. Now 15, she’s been in cancer treatment for almost a third of her life. When her cancer relapsed in the fall of 2020, experts at the Alberta Children’s Hospital knew a bone marrow transplant was her only hope. In order to proceed, they would need to get her cancer back into remission in order to give her the best chance of survival.

Thankfully, a clinical trial for a new immunotherapy drug called blinatumomab was showing great promise. Patients were achieving remission and experiencing much less — if any — toxicity normally associated with chemotherapy. Nyah’s doctors were able to enrol her in the trial and she was back in remission with little to no side-effects.

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More Clinical Trials for Kids

The Pediatric Clinical Trials program is aimed at providing more children promising new cancer treatments and cures without the long-lasting side effects.

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For this, Nyah and her family are extremely grateful. “Nyah had already been through so much. Serious infections, painful mouth sores, nausea and exhaustion all took a toll,” says her dad, Jared. “It was a good feeling to be giving her a drug that did the job without causing so much collateral damage.”

Clinical trials are vital to moving medicine forward according to Dr. Greg Guilcher, pediatric oncologist and program lead for the Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute. “Clinical trials have improved childhood cancer survival from 20% to 80% over the last 50 years. While that’s an impressive statistic, until we can cure every child with no lasting, life-limiting side effects, our work is not done here.”

The Alberta Children’s Hospital has a history of offering outstanding clinical care and novel treatments for childhood cancer and serious blood disorders. Generous community support has helped to establish a nationally, and increasingly, internationally recognized program of excellence and innovation in clinical research. With your continued support, the experts at the hospital can provide the newest and best treatment options to their critically-ill patients and ensure that the 20% of children who are currently not expected to survive have a chance for a cure and the highest quality of life into survivorship. Learn more.

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