Institut Curie: a major player on the national pediatric care landscape

Sébastien Tallandier
La cancérologie pédiatrique est organisée en France autour d'une société savante : la Société française de lutte contre les cancers et les leucémies de l'enfant et de l'adolescent (SFCE). L’Institut Curie est un des centres majeurs de la SFCE et est très impliqué au niveau national dans la promotion de l’accès aux soins et d’une recherche clinique de qualité au bénéfice des patients.
Parcours de soins nationaux cancers pédiatriques

Institut Curie is one of 30 hospital groups recognized by the SFCE, founded in 2002, for their expertise in treating children with cancer. Each center has a dedicated team of hematologist-oncologists and pediatric oncologists with expertise in treating cancer in children and adolescents. These professionals work in close collaboration with radiotherapists and surgeons from the same institution or from other centers. “Institut Curie treats all children referred to there; however, some of the care may be provided at other centers, even at institutions that are not SFCE centers, but are authorized to perform cancer treatments,“ explains Dr. Jean Michon, head of the department of pediatric oncology - adolescents and young adults at Institut Curie from 2002 to 2016, as well as president of the SFCE.
Within the SFCE there are over 20 theme-based groups organized according to pathology (including retinoblastomas, lymphomas, bone tumors, neuroblastomas and brain tumors) and to discipline. The centers are grouped into seven inter-regional organizations and regularly hold multidisciplinary consultation meetings (RCP) attended by health professionals from various disciplines. This allows for a collaborative medical decision to be made for a given treatment regimen to provide young patients with the best possible care.

Expertise and skill in the quality of pediatric oncology care

The SFCE is the only medical academic association to represent pediatric oncology in France, and guarantees expertise and skill in the quality of care. It is also recognized by the Institut National du Cancer (INCa) as a collaborative group for clinical trials. “My role is to promote access to care and high-quality clinical research throughout all of France,” explains Jean Michon. “Institut Curie participates in the collective efforts of the SFCE and of clinical research in general. Regardless of the center where patients are treated, we ensure that they have as much knowledge as possible and access to treatment methods appropriate to their needs.”

What is Institut Curie’s main contribution in this national organization?

Institut Curie is:

  • The leading national center for treatment of retinoblastoma, a cancerous tumor of the eye; in collaboration with the Rothschild foundation, the institute is heavily involved in retinoblastoma at the national and international level in western countries and in less developed countries.
  • One of only two institutions in France, along with the Centre Antoine Lacassagne in Nice, to have a proton therapy machine, which involves cutting-edge, high-precision radiotherapy using proton beams, a treatment perfectly suited for treating certain pediatric cancers.
  • The leading center, in terms of proton therapy and involvement of the somatic genetics laboratory for treatment adapted to the molecular profile of the medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children.
  • The leading center for treatment of high-risk Ewing tumors and low-risk neuroblastoma.
  • The leader in pediatric molecular medicine.