We are also actively involved in early clinical trials of novel therapies, including biologic agents and vaccines, natural killer cells, and combinations of these novel therapies with conventional treatments. We hope that effective strategies for neuroblastoma will provide a paradigm for other metastatic solid tumors affecting children and adolescents.
In the laboratory we are evaluating markers of minimal residual disease, which may predict early metastasis and recurrence; discovering novel tumor targets; and engineering next-generation antibodies to make them more potent and “human-like,” as well as arming these antibodies with either T lymphocytes or powerful radioactive isotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of neuroblastoma. We believe many of these novel antibodies have potential applications for other solid tumors in adolescents and even in adults.
We are screening new drugs that can overcome the resistance that neuroblastoma often develops after prolonged treatment with chemotherapy. We are also trying to unmask the genetic and biochemical makeup of neuroblastoma tumors to determine if the tumor profile at the time of diagnosis, metastasis, or relapse can tell us how aggressive a tumor may be, and what kind of therapy may be most effective. Our major thrust continues to be the translation of novel therapies to help our patients.
The team of experts at Memorial Sloan-Kettering treats more patients with neuroblastoma than at any other institution in the world. With evidence-based treatment approaches, our expertise translates to better patient outcomes. Families who come to us benefit from the dedication and compassion of individuals from various disciplines who share the vision and the desire to eradicate this devastating disease.