Can a drug for another disease be used against neuroblastoma?
Study Title: Nifurtimox for Relapsed or Refractory Neuroblastoma
Researcher: Giselle Sholler, MD
Institution: University of Vermont/ Vermont Cancer Center
Study Type: Phase I clinical trial
Drugs used for another disease are occasionally found to work against cancer, and sometimes this discovery happens by accident. This was the case with Nifurtimox, a drug used to treat a parasitic disease. One of the co-founders of Solving Kids’ Cancer read a case study reporting how Nifurtimox was used for a child who contacted Chagas Disease from a blood transfusion and also had chemo-resistant neuroblastoma and had a dramatic reduction of their tumor. reduced the tumor size in a child with neuroblastoma that did not respond to chemotherapy. Solving Kids’ Cancer quickly brought researchers together and created a clinical trial with Nifurtimox for children with neuroblastoma. This phase I clinical trial led to the development of a large multi-center phase II trial, which is ongoing.