Current neuroblastoma projects

Neuroblastoma is the second most common type of solid tumour in children, affecting around 100 children a year in the UK.

Incidence is highest in very young children – it is the most common type of cancer to occur in the first year of life.

More than a third of neuroblastoma patients do not survive, despite intensive treatment.

Read more: About neuroblastoma

We are funding a number of projects aimed at improving the outlook for children with neuroblastoma:

Developing new treatments for high-risk neuroblastoma

Isabelle Gore 11 October 2016
Dr Helen Bryant, University of Sheffield

Neuroblastoma has a ‘high-risk’ form that has a poor prognosis despite intensive treatment. Some high-risk neuroblastomas have extra copies of the MYCN gene and Dr Helen Bryant wants to clarify the role of this gene. She will be testing the effects of a new drug used against ovarian cancer, as well as other similar drugs, on MYCN neuroblastoma. This will give a better understanding of this devastating tumour and potentially some new treatments in the short- to medium- term.

Amount of grant: £49,300 | Date of award: July 2016 Overview Neuroblastoma is a type of children’s cancer that arises in speci...
Read More

Development of ‘seek and destroy’ system against neuroblastoma

Isabelle Gore 10 October 2016
Dr Karin Straathof, UCL Institute of Child Health, London

Less than half of children with an aggressive form of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma can be cured, even with the most intensive treatment. Dr Karin Straathof is developing a new immunotherapy approach to target this disease. Not only should this provide a new treatment option for children who can’t currently be cured but, importantly, it should be less toxic than existing treatments.

Amount of grant: £251,392 | Date of award: July 2016 Background Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer that often returns, despite intensive combination treatment with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and s...
Read More

Understanding drug-resistance mechanisms in high-risk neuroblastoma

Isabelle Gore 10 October 2016
Dr Suzanne Turner, University of Cambridge

Resistance to treatment has always been a major barrier to curing cancer. This project focuses on treatment resistance in a particular form of high-risk neuroblastoma and aims to proactively identify effective counter-strategies against resistant tumours with the aim of extending relapse-free survival periods.

Amount of grant: £223,310 | Date of award: July 2016 Overview Neuroblastoma is the second most common solid tumour to occur in children, affecting around 100 children a year in the UK. A cancer of the nerve cells, usually developing in the abdomen, it accounts for more than 10 per cent of d...
Read More

Evaluation of B7H3 as a novel target for immunotherapy in childhood cancer

Isabelle Gore 24 May 2016
Dr Kathleen Birley, UCL Institute of Child Health

Kathleen Birley was awarded a Clinical Studentship in December 2015 - our first such studentship - to support her research into a new immunotherapy approach for childhood cancers.

She is focusing on a protein called B7H3 which is present on cancers including neuroblastoma and the brain tumour DIPG; it is hoped that this may represent a new target for the treatment of these cancers.

Background – the need for new treatments One of the difficulties in developing new treatments for childhood cancers is finding ways to attack the cancer cells without damaging healthy cells. This is an importa...
Read More

Improved radiation treatment of neuroblastoma

Isabelle Gore 14 September 2015
Professor Rob Mairs, University of Glasgow

Neuroblastoma is a cancer that mainly affects very young children. Patients whose neuroblastoma has spread at the time of diagnosis have a poor outlook; their disease is difficult to eradicate even with intensive treatment. This work aims to enhance the effectiveness of treatment by combining radioactive drugs currently used in neuroblastoma treatment with drugs that can sensitise neuroblastoma cells to radiation damage.

Amount of grant: £189,043 | Date of award: May 2015 
Overview Neuroblastoma is a cancer that arises in nerve tissue of infants and very young children. Although neuroblastoma ma...
Read More

Accelerating the delivery of personalised treatment to children with neuroblastoma using MRI

Isabelle Gore 18 September 2014
Dr Yann Jamin, The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Effective and safe treatments for children with neuroblastoma are urgently required. Neuroblastoma is the second most common solid tumour in childhood, accounting for six per cent of all childhood cancers, just under 100 children a year in the UK.

Promising novel therapies are currently being evaluated in the clinic. However there is a crucial need to accelerate the evaluation process that take these promising drugs from the laboratory bench to the children’s bedside.

Yann is looking at ways of transferring techniques now routinely used in adult cancers to use in children through the...
Read More

Development of new treatments for children with high-risk neuroblastoma

Isabelle Gore 26 June 2014
Professor Louis Chesler, The Institute of Cancer Research, London

Neuroblastoma has a high-risk form that, despite intensive treatment, has a very poor outlook. The aim of this project is to develop new treatments that kill neuroblastoma cells by targeting the specific gene associated with this high-risk disease but, importantly, do not harm normal cells. This could improve survival in young patients whilst reducing the risk of treatment-related harm.

Amount of grant: £249,675 | Date of award: June 2014
Overview Neuroblastoma, a cancer that originates in developing nerve cells, is the second most common solid tumour to occur in children...
Read More

Establishing new ways to eliminate childhood neuroblastoma

Isabelle Gore 01 March 2013
Dr Karim Malik, University of Bristol

Neuroblastoma is one of the most common childhood cancers and more than a third of patients do not survive. A major problem with treatment is that neuroblastomas that are initially responsive to treatment often relapse. Dr Malik is working to understand more about the mechanisms of neuroblastoma growth and development in order to open up new approaches to treatment.

Amount of grant: £143,702  |  Date of award:  March 2013 Overview Although the treatment of many childhood cancers has improved dramatically, certain cancers, including neuroblastoma, still have a poor prognosis.

Neuroblastoma is one of ...
Read More

Engineering immune cells for the optimal eradication of neuroblastoma

Isabelle Gore 01 March 2013
Dr David Gilham, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Manchester

Neuroblastoma is one of the most common solid tumours to occur in children. It can be exceptionally difficult to treat and, despite intensive treatment, around one third of patients cannot currently be cured. In this project, Dr Gilham is harnessing the power of the immune system by engineering specific immune cells to destroy tumour cells. He will lay the essential groundwork in the laboratory to enable progression to clinical trial in children.

Amount of grant: £183,706  |  Date of award: March 2013 Overview Neuroblastoma is one of the most common solid tumours to occu...
Read More

Combination treatments for neuroblastoma

Larry McCarthy 01 June 2012
Dr Andrew Stoker, UCL Institute of Child Health

Neuroblastoma is one of the most common childhood cancers. It has a high-risk form that is difficult to cure, despite intensive treatment.

This project aims to deliver a better understanding of ways to treat this devastating disease.


Amount of grant: £69,244*  |  Date of award: June 2012

The team
Dr Andrew Stoker, Dr Stephen Hart, Dr Thomas Jacques & Professor Neil Sebire, UCL Insitute of Child Health. Background Neuroblastoma – a nerve tumour - is one of the most common childhood cancers, with around 100 children diagnosed every year in the UK. Most of these children are under the age ...
Read More

Where your money goes

Hover over a segment for details

NCRI AMRC