SIREDO: curing more children with cancer
More than 700 young patients, including 300 new patients, are treated each year at Institut Curie. Today a new milestone has been reached, with the launch of SIREDO, for Care, Innovation & Research in Childhood, Adolescent & Young-Adult Oncology. This center focuses the strengths of Institut Curie, including the care and research - basic, translational and clinical - teams, who devote themselves to cancers affecting the under-25s.
SIREDO has over 70 scientists, 5 research teams (3 associate) and some fifty caregivers working to speed up the fight against cancers that affect the very youngest patients. Today, thanks to progress already made over the past four decades, 8 out of 10 children make a recovery. But despite this progress, cancer remains the second most-common cause of death for children aged under 15, with accidents in first place.
Accelerating the fight against childhood cancers
Too many children, adolescents and young adults are still dying from cancer. By combining the expertise of the best cancer specialists – both medical and scientific – SIREDO aims to improve patient survival by discovering new treatments for children whose therapies have failed, and to decrease the after-effects of treatments explains its director, Dr. Olivier Delattre, Inserm research director.
The fight against childhood cancers is well underway, but still far from being won. Only with the involvement of institutions like Institut Curie, which has broad expertise from research to care, will treatment of these diseases improve.
SIREDO is thus helping to provide the best care for young patients. The disciplinary teams at Institut Curie treat all solid tumors in children, adolescents and young adults. Pediatricians, nurses, childcare workers and radiotherapists provide the most effective care, with teachers, facilitators and art instructors supporting the children on a day-to-day basis. As Dr. Daniel Orbach, deputy clinical director of SIREDO reminds us: “for over 40 years, Institut Curie has been a recognized expert in pediatric oncology. This experience and expertise have made it one of the biggest European centers today.”
For several years there has been a department fully dedicated to patients aged 15 to 24. Dr. Valérie Laurence heads this department and explains: “Among young patients, adolescents and young adults are in a transitional phase between childhood and adulthood, and caring for them during this pivotal time - all the while fighting cancer - requires close and trusting collaboration between “adult” physicians and pediatricians, which is a characteristic of SIREDO, with its dedicated team and structure (adolescents and young adults unit and a mobile team).”
Furthermore, SIREDO will help to focus research efforts in the clinical, translational and basic research fields. For some years it seems that improvements in survival rates of young patients have plateaued, and in order to break through, new approaches must be implemented to better understand the development of these tumors. Based on biological data provided by basic research, new diagnostic approaches or molecules may be developed and assessed by translational research. Only then can clinical research come into play, but this cannot take place without industrial or institutional partnerships. SIREDO therefore strives to strengthen them and guarantee access to innovation for all.
“SIREDO is a major European center for inclusion of patients in prospective studies, including clinical trials,” explains Prof. François Doz, SIREDO’s deputy director of clinical research, innovation and training, and professor at Paris Descartes university. Each year about 200 young patients are involved in therapeutic trials (including early trials, thanks to the Clip2 pediatrics certification). Clinical research is essential to improve the recovery rate and reduce the after-effects of treatments.
From its inception, Institut Curie’s strength has resided in its ability to bring the benefits of research to the patient’s bedside. SIREDO is one of the priorities of Institut Curie’s institutional project MC21, for Marie Curie 21st century. This 5-year project is backed by a 153 million-euro investment. “With SIREDO, Institut Curie will be conducting research and care at the highest level to pursue the continuum initiated by Marie Curie, and which has proven its worth to the benefit of patients,” concludes Prof. Thierry Philip, President of Institut Curie.