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Transformative Results from TADPOLE-G Study

Darren Hargrave. Dianne Parkes
Senior author on the study, Professor Darren Hargrave

We are pleased to report that recent clinical research is promising new options for children battling cancerous brain tumours. The TADPOLE-G study compared outcomes for children treated with two specific cancer drugs, instead of traditional chemotherapy, and it has yielded promising results. This innovative treatment approach could potentially benefit hundreds of children worldwide, particularly those with BRAF mutated low- and high-grade gliomas.

A beacon of hope for families worldwide

Each year in the UK, approximately 500 children are diagnosed with brain tumours, with 30-50 of them expected to benefit significantly from this new treatment. The global impact could extend to hundreds, possibly thousands of children, offering a ray of hope in the challenging battle against paediatric brain cancer. Notably, the combination of the Dabrafenib and Trametinib drugs presents a groundbreaking alternative for children with BRAF mutations, addressing not only the efficacy of treatment but also aiming to minimise the often-severe side effects associated with conventional cancer therapies.

Paediatric low-grade gliomas, a subtype of cancerous brain tumours that arise from glial cells, often require a full surgical removal as the standard course of treatment. However, for cases where complete surgical removal is not possible, additional treatments such as chemotherapy become essential. Unfortunately, patients undergoing these additional treatments frequently experience multiple relapses, disease progression, and long-lasting side effects, which emphasises the urgent need for more effective and tolerable therapies.

A collaborative effort from researchers around the world

The TADPOLE-G trial involved 73 children with low-grade gliomas, who were treated with Dabrafenib and Trametinib, compared to 37 patients who underwent standard chemotherapy drugs. As the first study to investigative combination therapy, the results not only demonstrated reduced side-effects compared to traditional chemotherapy but also showcased an astonishing 400% improvement in overall response rates. The median progression-free survival also showed impressive results, from 7.4 months with chemotherapy to an impressive 20.1 months with the innovative dual-drug treatment.

Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the TADPOLE-G study represents success in a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of BRAF mutated low-grade paediatric gliomas, and signifies a shift in the approach to these challenging cases. For children with relapsed/refractory BRAF mutated high-grade gliomas, the treatment also exhibited a notable improvement in overall response rates, offering renewed hope for those facing more aggressive forms of the disease.

A significant research step forward

While this excellent research is a significant step forward, it is important to acknowledge the ongoing need for research and support. Continued commitment to exploring new therapies, increasing the understanding of paediatric brain tumours, and improving treatment outcomes is vital. The success of studies such as TADPOLE-G highlights the potentially transformative impact of research initiatives and the critical role of donations in driving innovation and ultimately saving lives. As we celebrate this breakthrough, as a charity we are committed to fostering a future where every child diagnosed with a brain tumour has access to effective, tolerable, and life-saving treatments. To find out more about our work or to make a donation, please contact us today.

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