Pediatric Developmental Therapies: Interesting New Drugs Now in Early-Stage Clinical Trials

Curr Oncol Rep. 2008 Nov;10(6):477-90. doi: 10.1007/s11912-008-0073-0.


The current high cure rates for children diagnosed with cancer can be attributed in part to emphasis on large cooperative group clinical trials. The significant improvement in pediatric cancer survival over the past few decades is the result of optimized chemotherapy drug dosing, timing, and intensity; however, further alterations in traditional chemotherapy agents are unlikely to produce substantially better outcomes. Furthermore, there remains a subset of patients who have a very poor prognosis due to tumor type or stage at presentation, or who have a dismal prognosis with relapse or recurrence. As such, innovative approaches to therapy and new drugs are clearly needed for introduction into the current pediatric oncology arsenal. A variety of biologically targeted therapies that have shown promise in preclinical studies and early-phase adult clinical trials are now being explored in pediatric clinical trials. These novel agents hold the promise for continuing to drive forward improvements in patient survival, with potentially less toxicity than exists with traditional chemotherapy drugs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical / methods
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System
  • Medical Oncology / methods
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Recurrence
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / metabolism


  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, IGF Type 1