Australian & New Zealand Childrens Haematology/Oncology Group


First patient enrolled in Deflexifol® At Relapse Trial (DART)

August 2023

As sponsor of the Deflexifol® At Relapse Trial (DART), ANZCHOG is looking forward to the first patient being enrolled today, August 29.

Ependymoma is the third most common paediatric brain tumour and forms in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord. Surgery and radiation are effective in treating some tumours however, in approximately one in three children, the tumour grows back after treatment. Currently, the treatment options for children with relapsed ependymoma are limited.

The DART Study is investigating Deflexifol® as a promising new treatment for ependymoma and other paediatric brain cancers. Deflexifol® is a new Australian-developed co-formulation of a chemotherapy called 5-FU and another drug named leucovorin, which makes 5-FU more potent against tumours. 5-FU has shown to be active against ependymoma but until now, it hasn’t been possible to get high enough concentrations of 5-FU into the brain. The Deflexifol® co-formulation has potential to be more potent, deliver higher doses of 5-FUand lead to less side effects, holding promise for a more effective treatment for this complex disease.

The trial is open for recruitment at children’s cancer centres nationally for children across Australia and will be expanded internationally if successful. We thank our friends at Kids with Cancer Foundation and The Robert Connor Dawes Foundation for supporting ANZCHOG to sponsor this important trial, and also acknowledge the support provided by the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation. We also thank FivepHusion for the supply of Deflexifol® for the DART Study.

ANZCHOG is a non-profit organisation committed to ensuring Australian and New Zealand children receive world-class cancer care. We are the peak professional body for paediatric oncologists and health professionals who care for children with cancer, spearheading national initiatives to enhance clinical care through communication, research, networking and education. We are also the national cooperative clinical trials group for childhood cancer, actively working with trial consortia around the globe to ensure Australian and New Zealand children have the opportunity to access the latest promising cancer treatments.