Since 2011, three societies engaged in the field of cancer drug development and paediatric oncology – the European Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOPE), the Cancer Drug Development Forum (CDDF), and Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer (ITCC) – co-organise this scientific conference, with the aim to incentivise the development of new cancer treatments for children and adolescents.
Innovative therapies have the potential to effectively target several paediatric malignancies and, thus, save young lives. In the past years, the landscape of therapeutic innovations for cancer has changed with many more new drugs in development, but still very few of them are reaching children. Currently, less than 1 in 10 children in relapse with a terminal cancer has access to these types of medicines, and investment in the development of more effective treatments for children and adolescents with cancer is very poor. After 10 years since the entry into force of the EU Paediatric Medicine Regulation (EC No 1901/2006), the amount of new medicines developed for this age group is still insufficient.
To solve this deplorable situation, several representatives from academic research, pharmaceutical companies, regulatory drug agencies, policy-makers as well as patient/parent advocates joined their forces and created the ACCELERATE Multistakeholder Platform. Members of this platform regularly meet during the year, in working groups, to address specific obstacles to a faster progress in this area, including what should be amended in the Paediatric Medicines Regulation to ensure that it can effectively introduce therapeutic innovations.
Now organised on an annual basis, the 2017 ACCELERATE Paediatric Oncology Conference is THE forum where anyone interested in this field can reflect upon and discuss the proposals from the ACCELERATE Platform. On this occasion, participants will identify areas of improvement from both successful and unfeasible development plans, learn about ongoing initiatives to improve paediatric drug development’s efficiency, provide original perspectives and engage in new partnerships to foster innovation. They will also evaluate possible changes in the regulatory environment following the 10 years’ EMA report on the EU Paediatric Regulation – also comparing with regulatory and policy strategies in the US, Canada, Japan, and Australia – and define together the next steps forward to give more and better chances of cure to young patients.
Unite2Cure (www.unite2cure.org) is a network of parents, parent organisations and patient advocates from across Europe, which is calling for better treatment and better access to treatment for children and young people with cancer. This network is supported by many doctors, paediatric oncologists and researchers from all over Europe.
SIOPE, the European Society for Paediatric Oncology (www.siope.eu), is the only pan-European organisation representing all professionals working in the field of childhood cancers in close cooperation with parents, patients and survivors. With more than 1,600 members across 34 European countries, today SIOPE is leading the way to ensure the best possible care and outcomes for all children and adolescents with cancer across Europe.
The SIOPE Strategic Plan – endorsed by all partners in the field – is based on 7 key objectives and will inspire all future initiatives in this field.
ITCC, the Innovative Therapies for Children with Cancer (www.itcc-consortium.org) Consortium was created in 2003. It is a non-profit organisation under the French Law. ITCC gathers 51 European Paediatric Oncology Departments with expertise in conducting early phase trials in children and adolescents, and 9 European research laboratories. The aim of this organisation is to develop novel therapies for the treatment of paediatric and adolescent cancers in cooperation with regulatory bodies, pharmaceutical enterprises, parents and patients. In January 2011 ITCC was established as a European Category 1 Network for Paediatric Research at the European Medicines Agency (EnprEMA). Its structure comprises several Committees which take care and contribute to a particular issue in the development of novel therapeutic strategies in paediatric oncology.
CDDF, the Cancer Drug Development Forum (www.cddf.org), is a non-for-profit organisation registered in Austria that was founded in 2001. CDDF is the unique platform facilitating interactions between all stakeholders (academia, regulatory authorities, policymakers, industry, patient advocacy groups and health technology assessors) with the mission to improve the efficiency of cancer drug development.
For the past 15 years, CDDF has strived to leverage the discussion of the most promising advances in oncology drug development, uniting experts from all parties in the quest of overcoming the main challenges in cancer treatment. CDDF provides a forum for discussion by organizing multi-stakeholder workshops focused on specific oncology themes to address hurdles and explore potential solutions with all stakeholders as well as through its two specific platforms in immunotherapy and in paediatric oncology.