The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center approval to proceed with a new pediatric cancer treatment, called the NOAH Protocol. This investigative treatment aims at reducing and eliminating several types of pediatric brain cancer. Children with recurrent refractory brain tumors currently have no therapeutic options, and unfortunately succumb to their disease. The NOAH protocol offers new hope for groundbreaking results.
MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital is expected to begin enrolling eligible patients in the new, Phase- I clinical trial in January 2015. The NOAH Protocol stands for “New Opportunity Advancing Hope” and is designed to deliver patients’ own activated immune cells (natural killer cells) directly to the tumor area in the brain. This immunotherapeutic approach will use cutting edge technologies to promote a paradigm shift in brain tumor treatment.
The conceptualization and initiation of the study was due to the will of one mom (Amber Larkin who founded Noah’s Light Foundation) and the strength of one little boy (Noah Larkin), who fought long and hard, but unfortunately succumbed to medulloblastoma at the age of 9. They were joined very shortly thereafter by another mom (Amber Bender who founded Addis Faith Foundation) and one very little girl, Addison Bender, who lost her tenacious battle against ATRT at 2 years of age.
Propelled by these families and their foundations as well as additional research support from CURE Childhood Cancer and other organizations, a multidisciplinary team of researchers and fund-raising specialists at MD Anderson worked very hard to translate their dreams of developing novel treatment approaches for children with recurrent/refractory fourth ventricular brain tumors, into reality. The team consists of neuro-oncologists, pediatric oncologists, immunologists/transplant physicians, neurosurgeons and basic neuroscience researchers.