Dear all,

We will soon conclude UNICA4EU project, a groundbreaking EU funded project that bridges the realms of pediatric cancer and AI research. Our research has set the fundaments for further development in the following objectives:

-        Established a framework for upscaling AI in pediatric cancer for the next decade.

-        Co-designed an EU-wide methodology for secure AI-based interventions.

-        Advocated for policies prioritizing patient rights and AI adoption in healthcare.

Backed by 15 partners across 8 European countries, and prestigious entities like SIOP Europe, we're at the forefront of this intersection.

Given your expertise in the field we invite you to read more about our project here.

Thanks for your support!

To find more about UNICA4EU you can visit our website: https://unica4.eu/


Pediatric Blood & Cancer, Vol. 79, No. S2, May 2023

A supplemental issue of Pediatric Blood & Cancer is now online about Pediatric Renal Tumors - A HARMONICA Initiative:

Pediatric Renal Tumors - A HARMONICA Initiative
PBC 70 (S2) 2023 ->A Supplemental Issue with an Editorial and 10 Renal Tumor Papers

The COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A Rapid Global response for Children with Cancer from SIOP, COG, SIOP-E, SIOP-PODC, IPSO, PROS, CCI and St Jude Global

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most serious global challenges to delivering affordable and equitable treatment to children with cancer we have witnessed in the last few decades. This Special Report aims to summarise general principles for continuing multi-disciplinary care during the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic. With contributions from the leadership of the International Society for Paediatric Oncology (SIOP), Children’s Oncology Group (COG), St Jude Global programme and Childhood Cancer International, we have sought to provide a framework for healthcare teams caring for children with cancer during the pandemic. We anticipate the burden will fall particularly heavily on children, their families and cancer services in low- and middleincome countries. Therefore, we have brought together the relevant clinical leads from SIOPEurope, COG and SIOP-PODC (Pediatric Oncology in Developing Countries) to focus on the six most curable cancers that are part of the WHO Global Initiative in Childhood Cancer. We provide some practical advice for adapting diagnostic and treatment protocols for children with cancer during the pandemic, the measures taken to contain it (e.g. extreme social distancing) and how to prepare for the anticipated recovery period.

The paper can be found here.

Wilms Tumour:

Wilms Tumor (WT) or nephroblastoma is a highly curable childhood cancer with cure rates around 90% as shown by the SIOP Renal Tumour Study Group (SIOP-RTSG) and the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) (1). During the last decades treatment is stratified according to clinical (SIOP and COG) and molecular risk factors (COG) to avoid under- and overtreatment. This resulted in curing patients by minimizing acute toxicities and late effects and in avoiding as many relapses as possible. To provide this standard of care will be a specific challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic as the ability to deliver adequate diagnosis, treatment and supportive care for patients with WT will vary from country to country and even from region to region depending on the overload of the health care system caused by COVID-19.

In silico oncology en route to clinical translation

The VPHi members, Prof Norbert Graf and Prof Georgios Stamatakos, have joined forces to validate the Nephroblastoma Oncosimulator and design the next critical steps of its clinical translation procedure.

Cancer has been designated as one of the key research and innovation missions of the next framework programme Horizon Europe (2021-2027). These missions are high-ambition, high profile initiatives, to find solutions to some of the major challenges faced by European citizens, with a clear target that captures the imagination of citizens at large.

Experts in kidney cancer from the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group have published a new recommendation on when a biopsy of the suspected tumour should be taken

The researchers analysed the records of 548 children with a suspected kidney cancer treated in the UK and Republic of Ireland who took part in an international clinical trial (SIOP WT 2001) between 2002-2011. During this trial, all children in the UK/ROI were recommended to have a biopsy before starting chemotherapy. In other countries, chemotherapy is usually started without a biopsy since nine times out of ten, a kidney tumour in a young child is a type of cancer called Wilms tumour and the diagnosis is confirmed when the affected kidney is removed 4-6 weeks later. Giving chemotherapy before surgery to remove a kidney affected by Wilms tumour makes surgery less risky. However, chemotherapy is not needed for some non-Wilms tumours.

The UMBRELLA SIOP-RTSG 2016 Wilms tumour pathology and molecular biology protocol

On the basis of the results of previous national and international trials and studies, the Renal Tumour Study Group of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP-RTSG) has developed a new study protocol for paediatric renal tumours: the UMBRELLA SIOP-RTSG 2016 protocol (the UMBRELLA protocol). Currently, the overall outcomes of patients with Wilms tumour are excellent, but subgroups with poor prognosis and increased relapse rates still exist. The identification of these subgroups is of utmost importance to improve treatment stratification, which might lead to reduction of the direct and late effects of chemotherapy.

Genomics offers new treatment options for infants with range of soft tissue tumors

The genetic causes of a group of related infant cancers have been discovered by scientists at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the University of Wuerzburg and their collaborators. Whole genome sequencing of tumours revealed mutations which are targetable by existing drugs used to treat lung cancer and melanoma. The results, published today (18 June) in Nature Communications have implications for clinical practice and the diagnosis of rare cancers in infants, and could lead to new, targeted treatment options for these children.

Study shows a new approach to treating patients with stage IV Wilms tumor

A new study showing significantly improved survival rates for patients with stage IV Wilms tumors with lung metastases was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The outcomes of the study, "Treatment of Stage IV Favorable Histology Wilms Tumor With Lung Metastases: A Report From the Children's Oncology Group AREN0533 Study", will be a game-changer in treating Wilms tumor and reduce the need for radiation - and the long-term risks associated with it - in nearly half of patients whose cancer has spread to the lung.

Childhood cancer survivors living longer but do not report improvement in health status

Long-term survivors of childhood cancer live longer thanks to improvements to cancer treatments, but a new study looking at three decades of therapy suggests patients do not report better health status. The findings from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), which include feedback from a survey of more than 14,000 adult survivors treated from 1970 to 1999, appear online in Annals of Internal Medicine.

USC researchers discover a key difference between mouse and human kidney cells

The best laid plans of mice and men are a bit different - at least when it comes to kidney development. Compared to a mouse, a human has nearly 100 times more nephrons, the functional units of the kidneys. Humans may owe these abundant nephrons to a gene called SIX1, according to a new paper published in the journal Development.
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