Professor Richard Lock
Since 2005, our laboratory has been taking part in the National Cancer Institute USA-funded 'Pediatric Preclinical Testing Program' (PPTP), a multi-centred consortium that is testing new drugs against a broad range of childhood malignancies for acceleration into clinical trials. CCIA was chosen as the international testing site for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and later in the project will also test drugs against neuroblastoma.
We are currently testing one new drug per month. The test results are collated centrally, submitted for publication, and promising drugs are selected for additional testing and/or consideration for clinical trials. Thus far, several new drugs tested by the PPTP Consortium have shown sufficient activity for additional testing.
Our component of the project involves testing new antileukaemic drugs in combination with established treatments. This work is aimed at identifying the optimal strategies by which new drugs can be used in the treatment of children whose leukaemia is resistant to conventional therapy. Several drugs that we have prioritised have now been accelerated into clinical trials for children with leukaemia.