Vall d'Hebron presents 20 research projects at the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) 2022 Congress

The presentations address the discovery of new drugs and therapeutic targets, clinical trial results and the improvement of clinical practice and patient experience.


From September 28 to October 1, the 54th edition of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP) Congress took place in Barcelona, a space for collaboration between pediatric cancer professionals to present the latest developments in this field, as well as to generate new ideas and synergies. As part of the conference, 20 posters and oral communications were presented on research projects led or with the participation of researchers from the Pediatric Oncology and Hematology Service of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and the research group on Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders from the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and one by the Radiation Oncology Service at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital and the Radiation Oncology research group at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO). Among them are studies on the discovery of new drugs and therapeutic targets, results of clinical trials and the improvement of clinical practice and patient experience.

Among the projects presented, the poster on the COMIK precision medicine program for children and adolescents with cancer led by Dr. Lorena Valero, Dr. Raquel Hladun, Dr. Gabriela Guillen and Dr. Aroa Soriano stands out. Thanks to the analysis of the genome of high-risk ultra-rare tumors, genetic alterations were identified in 62% of patients. In half of these, there is a targeted therapy for their treatment. However, the study demonstrates the limited access to new therapies in this group of patients, due to the lack of ongoing clinical trials and drugs currently approved in Spain.

The posters also include the results of the project "Riding for Life", led by Dr. Anna Llort and Anna Saló and promoted and funded by the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona Foundation with the aim of studying the benefits of rehabilitation with horses in the recovery of children after cancer treatment to improve their experience after the disease. The clinical trial, in which 17 patients participated, showed that hippotherapy was safe and that it could improve physical and psychological variables, such as coordination or mood, as well as the quality of life of the children.

On the other hand, Dr. Lucas Moreno presented the results of the BEACON phase II clinical trial for the treatment of neuroblastoma. In the study, 225 patients were randomized into several groups that received the drugs bevacizumab, irinotecan, topotecan or dinutuximab beta. Among the results, the higher response rate among patients who received dinutuximab beta and chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone is noteworthy. The study thus identifies innovative combinations of therapies that provide promising options for patients with relapsed neuroblastoma.

A project that combines innovation and humanization in patient care was also visible at the congress. This is Superbox, presented at the conference by Dr. Pablo Velasco, in which boxes with illustrations have been developed to cover chemotherapy, serum, transfusions and other medications for pediatric patients. The project has demonstrated safety and improved patient experience. It is also a friendly communication channel with healthcare professionals, as children can choose the illustrations displayed based on their mood.

In relation to palliative care for pediatric cancer patients, Dr. Maria Pérez-Torres presented the results of a multicenter project focused on this vulnerable group that requires specific attention. The work studied data from 228 patients with some type of incurable central nervous system tumor from 12 hospitals in Spain. The study highlights the need for early identification of symptoms in this group to improve their care and shows that the indications for palliative sedation depend on the experience of the team.

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