Frequently Asked Questions
What does NANT do for kids with NB?
NANT provides children with high risk neuroblastoma the opportunity to receive experimental therapies for their disease when conventional, or standard therapy options have decreased. On a NANT clinical trial, the child will either receive new drugs or new drug combinations as treatment that is not available through other protocols.
Why don't they just make the new drugs available to all kids with NB?
New drugs must be tested for safety and efficacy before releasing to all patients. If we allowed any patient to use a drug off study, the side effects might be harmful without any way of capturing this data, and many drugs might be used that have no effectiveness.
Is there a roadmap for relapsed neuroblastoma?
There is not a specific roadmap for relapsed neuroblastoma, as the therapy depends on the timing of the relapse in relation to prior therapy, the initial stage and treatment, the biology of the disease and pace of the disease. In general, for a first relapse one would apply therapies that are approved and tested that the patient has not had, either as part of a phase II trial or as standard of care. For subsequent relapse, it is appropriate to enter a phase I or II clinical trial, with the choice dependent again on many of the factors mentioned above.
How do I know what studies are appropriate for my child?
You will need to discuss these options with your treating physician, or a physician at a NANT site, as each child is different, and certain treating protocols, or studies, are potentially more effective depending on the child's disease status. Factors such as prior therapy, organ function and disease sites are also contributors in determining if a child is eligible for a NANT study, therefore selection may be highly individualized. It is also important that your family enroll on a study that they feel comfortable with, and that all of your questions are answered.
Why aren't more hospitals members of NANT?
NANT is a consortium designed to test new therapies that have not been studied in children with neuroblastoma. Member sites must have the expertise and resources required to conduct NANT studies. This includes expert physicians skilled in noting and reporting side effects, investigational pharmacists, research nurses, radiologists, and clinical research staff to administer often complex protocols to patients, to report the needed clinical data, and to collect specimens for the correlative biology studies that are part of each treatment protocol. Interested sites submit a membership application, which is reviewed by the NANT Scientific Review Committee to approve any new sites.