Matching relapsed/refractory cancers with more phase 1-2 clinical trials (NOPHOmatch)

Cancer in children is rare. But cancer remains the disease causing the most deaths in children over the age of 1 year. Most children, who die from cancer, do so because the standard treatment doesn't make their disease disappear (resistant disease) or because the disease returns (relapse of the disease). These children are at a high risk of dying from their cancer and we need to develop new treatments for them.

Over the last 5 years, doctors in the Nordic countries have started testing new drugs for children with cancer as part of clinical trials. But cancer in children isn't one disease it's a multitude of different types and subtypes of cancer. Each type of childhood cancer is characterised by unique abnormalities in the cancer cells that keep the cancer growing. Such abnormalities can be explored by advanced molecular methods, gene sequencing techniques, allowing doctors to identify an increasing number of abnormalities that might be treatable. But often, relevant drugs affecting (targeting) these abnormalities are unavailable or not yet available to children. There is a large potential for developing more and better targeted treatments for children with cancer, based on the abnormal findings in their individual cancers. That’s called personalised medicine or precision cancer medicine.

Our project team includes the specialised Nordic doctors actively developing new drugs for children with cancer, as well as bringing personalised medicine to more people.

We will perform a project with 2 parts to make the personalised medicine for children with cancer more available to Nordic children with cancer:

1) Establish weekly video meetings for all Nordic doctors looking after children with relapsed cancer. We will share experiences, make sure each patient is proposed the most relevant treatment and collect new information on how this collaboration improves the treatment of each individual child.

2) We will open two large European clinical trials, each with several different targeted drugs for children with relapsed cancer in the Nordic region.

In the long term, our goal is that no Nordic child should die from cancer.


Maria Nilsson

Maria Nilsson

Special Adviser