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Locatelli: “Today we can cure cancer in 80% of children”

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This was underlined by the President of the Superior Health Council (CSS) and Head of the Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome, who took stock of the evolution of pediatric tumor treatment and possible future innovations, on the occasion of the World Day against Childhood Cancer

“Today we are able to cure cancer in 80% of children” and “Car-t therapies against neuroblastoma” will be available soon. For example, Franco Locatelli, president of the Supreme Health Council (CSS) and chief physician of the Bambino Gesù Hospital in Rome, took stock of the evolution of childhood cancer treatment and possible future innovations, precisely on World Day against Child Cancer.

childhood cancer data

“Pediatric oncology represents one of the most successful prototype models of medical oncology. This is because today we are able to definitively cure approximately 75-80% of children who become ill with a childhood tumor, with cure rates for some tumors that even reaching more than 90%,” Locatelli explains to AGI. “This translates into the fact that today one two-year-old in 800 is a patient who has recovered from a neoplasm acquired in childhood”.

Innovations related to immunotherapy

What are the main reasons explaining advances in childhood cancer treatment? According to the chairman of the CSS, the honor goes to investments in research, but also to “international collaborations”. Among the most important innovations, precisely in the field in question, that have emerged in recent years are those related to “immunotherapy, i.e. treatment approaches through the use of monoclonal antibodies or genetically modified cells directed directly to the tumor target , and on the other hand through the use of drugs that act selectively with respect to specific molecular targets”.

The future of healthcare with the use of Car-T

Speaking of the future of healthcare, according to Locatelli, this is where the biggest challenge lies. “It is to reproduce the effectiveness of Car-T cells, i.e. lymphocytes genetically modified to be diverted to tumor targets, already demonstrated in haematological tumors, especially in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia, even in solid tumors,” concluded he the expert. “On this, there are largely promising results suggesting that this could be the next viable target. In this way, we still have a weapon at our disposal for the treatment of certain solid tumors that, even today, do not have the best chance of a cure. For example, I am thinking of neuroblastoma: we will soon publish a promising work on the use of Car-T against this type of tumor”.

Source: TG 24 Sky

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