Paediatric oncology research team recruit first patient in UK to worldwide cancer study

Congratulations to the Paediatric Oncology research team who have recruited the 1st patient in the UK to the SPARKLE study. Led locally by Dr Guy Makin, Honorary Consultant Paediatric Oncologist, SPARKLE is a global research study for children and young adults with Mature B cell non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL) where standard treatment has not worked or if their cancer has returned after chemotherapy.

The study is investigating the safety and efficacy of a medicine called, ibrutinib, in addition to standard treatment. Ibrutinib is a cancer drug currently used to treat other types of lymphoma. It is a targeted drug which works by disabling an enzyme in the protein of blood cells stopping the signals between them which in turn stop cancerous cells from growing and dividing.

Mature B cell NHL is the most common aggressive type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. While it can be fatal if not treated, it is often curable with intensive chemotherapy combinations. If relapse occurs after chemotherapy, it usually does so within 2 years. B-cell NHL usually affects the lymph nodes in the abdomen, head or neck and can occur at any age during childhood, but is rare before age 3.

The study is sponsored by Janssen Research and Development and supported by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network.