Childhood Cancer Research Landscape Report
Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in the United States for children ages 1 to 19, with more than 14,500 children ages 1 to 19 in the U.S. facing a diagnosis this year. Although cancer in children is much rarer than in adults, the effects can be worse since it occurs so early in life and the late effects from the disease and treatments can last a lifetime.
Recognizing that progress is still needed in childhood cancer, the American Cancer Society and Alliance for Childhood Cancer created this report to describe the process by which childhood cancer drugs are developed—from basic research through to clinical trials and drug approval.
By articulating how new therapies are developed and understanding how this process is both similar and different than the process for adult drugs, this report aims to identify challenges throughout the process so that efforts can be directed to overcome barriers to progress in childhood cancer research.
Cancer is the leading disease-related cause of death for children aged 1-19. While cancer is much rarer in children compared to adults, the disease can take a tremendous toll because it strikes so early in life and survivors face extremely high rates of late effects that can last a lifetime.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2016 there will be 10 380 new childhood cancer cases and 1 250 cancer deaths among children (ages 0-14) in the US. Among adolescents (ages 15-19), there will be an estimated 4 280 new childhood cancer diagnoses and 600 cancer deaths.
Many of these differences discourage research and drug development for childhood cancers because they introduce added cost, complexity, and uncertainty to the research
process, but there are also many efforts aimed at overcoming these barriers. The lack of financial incentives for research, for example, has led to additional incentives and requirements for adult drug developers to test their treatments in children.
Likewise, philanthropic organizations augment research funding from federal and industry sources, and researchers and cancer centers have formed collaborative networks to optimize the ability to conduct research with limited patient populations.
This report provides important perspectives and data from the childhood cancer community on barriers to research and the current efforts to overcome those barriers. In creating this work, the goal is to provide anyone interested in improving the landscape for children who face cancer with reliable information and a comprehensive perspective on how the process currently works
The full report can be found HERE