BREAKING NEWS: FDA Approves Childhood Cancer Drug

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
March 11, 2015

We’ve got some spectacular news. Really, really big news.

The FDA Has Approved a New Childhood Cancer Treatment

In the last 20 years, only two new drugs have been approved that were specifically developed to treat children with cancer.

Yesterday, that changed. Now there are three.

For kids with high-risk neuroblastoma, there have been few treatment options. Since the 1980s, researchers have been working on a new drug that — when combined with others — can help their immune system to fight off cancer.

Yesterday, the FDA approved this new drug to treat high-risk neuroblastoma, making it available not only through a clinical trial, but for all kids with this aggressive childhood cancer.

Called Unituxin, or dinutuximab, this immunotherapy treatment is a result of research spearheaded by St. Baldrick’s researcher Dr. Alice Yu.

Read more about Dr. Yu’s research >

“The research that led to dinutuximab’s FDA approval was decades in the making, and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation helped to make it possible with their funding of my work,” Dr. Yu said. “All of the support and the collaboration surrounding finally making this treatment available is testament to the power of what we as individuals can do when working together.”

But your investment in the research is just part of how you helped make this happen.

Your advocacy was crucial to this victory. Without your voices helping to pass the Creating Hope Act, this treatment may not have gotten to this stage at all.

In 2011, the 46 Mommas traveled to Washington, D.C., to support the Creating Hope Act

In 2011, the 46 Mommas traveled to Washington, D.C., to advocate for the Creating Hope Act.

Childhood cancer drugs aren’t very profitable for pharmaceutical companies, which is why so few have been developed. But as a result of the childhood cancer community’s united advocacy efforts, the Creating Hope Act changed that, offering companies vouchers to expedite the development and approval of these drugs.

Learn more about the Creating Hope Act >

Unituxin is the first ever pediatric cancer drug to come out of this voucher program.

Whether you shaved, volunteered, or donated, YOU were part of turning this research into a new treatment for kids with cancer. You are an integral part of this incredible news.

But we’re not going to stop there. (And we doubt the tenacious Dr. Yu will either.)

St. Baldrick’s has supported this type of work since 2005, and we will continue to fund promising research that will take this good news even further.

In fact, St. Baldrick’s Honored Kid Micah is currently participating in a St. Baldrick’s-funded clinical trial that was built on this groundbreaking research. (We just visited him in the hospital, and he’s doing great!)

From all of us to you, thank you for being a part of this. Thank you for giving hope to kids with cancer.

We can’t wait to see what’s next.

YOU make a difference. Join us in making more treatments like this possible for all kids with cancer.

Read more on our St. Baldrick’s blog: