Australian & New Zealand Childrens Haematology/Oncology Group


FaR-RMS: A new trial now open for children and adults with rhabdomyosarcoma

18 May 2021

ANZCHOG is pleased to announce that Australian children and adults now have the opportunity to participate in an international trial for a deadly type of sarcoma.

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a rare cancer of soft tissue that is usually diagnosed in children, but can also occur in teenagers and adults. Many patients with localised RMS survive after multi-modal treatment including intensive chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy, but experience significant long-term effects from their treatment. For patients where the disease spreads or is an aggressive sub-type, the outcomes are much poorer, and the majority of patients do not survive.

FaR-RMS study has been developed by world-leading clinical researchers from the European paediatric Soft tissue Sarcoma Group (EpSSG). It is a revolutionary, overarching clinical trial, designed to simultaneously examine multiple aspects of treatment, seeking to improve survival and quality of life for all RMS patients. The areas of research include the addition of new agents to standard chemotherapy backbones, extension of maintenance chemotherapy, optimisation of radiotherapy dosing and timing, identification of genetic biomarkers for risk stratification and new prognostic biomarkers.

“Australian and New Zealand participation in this ground-breaking international trial will offer all RMS patients – regardless of age or disease stage – the opportunity to be involved in the most comprehensive and ambitious program of research undertaken for this disease and enable rapid access to the latest therapies”, said Dr. Martin Campbell, Australian Principal Investigator. “FaR-RMS will answer a number of research questions within a single trial framework, and the trial design will enable new arms with promising novel agents to be rapidly incorporated as they are identified. The results from FaR-RMS will influence clinical practice for RMS patients worldwide.”

FaR-RMS will be opened at all paediatric cancer centres throughout Australia and a number of adult cancer centres, through ANZCHOG’s collaboration with Australian & New Zealand Sarcoma Association (ANSZA). Two children’s cancer centres in New Zealand are also seeking to open FaR-RMS.

Far-RMS will open at:

  • Royal Children’s Hospital (Melbourne, VIC)
  • Monash Children’s Hospital (Clayton, VIC)
  • The Children’s Hospital (Westmead, NSW)
  • Sydney Children’s Hospital (Randwick, NSW)
  • John Hunter Children’s Hospital (Newcastle, NSW)
  • Queensland Children’s Hospital (Brisbane, QLD)
  • Women’s and Children’s Hospital (Adelaide, SA)
  • Perth Children’s Hospital (Perth, WA)
  • Starship Hospital (Auckland, NZ)
  • Christchurch Hospital (Christchurch, NZ)
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Melbourne, VIC)
  • Chris O’Brien LifeHouse (Sydney, NSW)
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital (Brisbane, QLD)
  • Westmead Hospital (Sydney, NSW).

ANZCHOG would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund to enable FaR-RMS to open at Australian centres.