Australian & New Zealand Childrens Haematology/Oncology Group


New funding to support the NICHE-HGG Trial

ANZCHOG is pleased to announce that Australian and New Zealand children diagnosed with a devasting brain cancer will have access to one of the most promising treatments available worldwide.

Children diagnosed with high grade gliomas (HGG) have a poor chance of survival – and once their disease recurs or progresses, there are no known effective treatments to cure their disease. Research into new treatment options is vital to identify novel strategies to improve outcomes for these children.

Harnessing the patient’s own immune system to target and eliminate tumour cells (called “immunotherapy”) has emerged as an effective treatment for some previously incurable adult cancers, such as melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer. Recent research has shown that use of immunotherapy agents, known as checkpoint inhibitors, before surgery resection can “prime” the patient’s immune response. This priming process, described as “neoadjuvant immunotherapy” appears to trigger a stronger anti-tumour effect compared to when the checkpoint inhibitors are only administered after surgery. Excitingly, this strategy has improved patient survival in a pilot trial for adults with HGG.

The NICHE-HGG Trial (a randomised pilot trial of Neoadjuvant checkpoint Inhibition followed by Combination adjuvant checkpoint inHibition in childrEn and young adults with recurrent or progressive High Grade Glioma) will be the first study to examine if the timing of immunotherapy triggers a stronger immune response in children with HGG, and will provide preliminary data on changes in patient survival.

“This trial will ensure Australian and New Zealand children diagnosed with this deadly disease have access to the latest promising agents that are available worldwide. We desperately need to find new treatments for these patients. This trial has been developed by childhood brain tumour experts in the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC), leaders in translating the latest biological brain cancer research into innovative clinical treatments. We are very fortunate to be partnering with this group, and this collaboration paves the way for accessing more cutting edge clinical trials in the future”.

Professor Nick Gottardo, Chair of ANZCHOG and Australian Study Chair

ANZCHOG would like to acknowledge the generous support of NICHE-HGG co-funders: Cure Brain Cancer Foundation/ Love for Lachie and the Robert Connor Dawes Clinical Trials Program. NICHE-HGG will open at nine children’s cancer centres across Australia and New Zealand.

For more information on Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC): Click Here