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New Drug, New Combination, New Hope for Children

Conquest - Fall 2009

A common treatment for severe acne combined with a novel drug may significantly hinder tumor growth in pediatric patients with neuroblastoma, a type of brain cancer, according to Peter Zage, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor with the Children’s Cancer Hospital at M. D. Anderson.

Peter Zage, M.D., Ph.D.

The clinical trial is the first in the world to test vandetanib, a multi-kinase inhibitor, in children. The acne treatment is 13-cis-retinoic acid (CRA).

“By itself, vandetanib inhibited tumor growth by two-thirds and decreased blood vessel formation around neuroblastoma tumors in mice. When combined with CRA, the impact was even greater on tumor growth,” says Zage, who received this year’s Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and was selected to present his research in a special platform session in April.

According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 650 children in the United States, mainly under the age of 5, are diagnosed with neuroblastoma each year.

Reported at the 22nd annual meeting of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology in April.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center