News from the ACCELERATE Platform: 


8th ACCELERATE Paediatric Oncology Conference: 6-7 February, Brussels

The 8th edition of the ACCELERATE Paediatric Oncology Conference was successfully held on 6-7 February 2020 in Brussels. Attended by delegates from across the world – including experts from academia, industry, patient/parent/survivor advocacy groups, foundations and regulatory authorities – the diverse and high turnout was a clear sign that this conference is now a truly international event.

ACCELERATE provides a transparent forum enabling patients and parents organisations, academic paediatric oncologists and haematologists, biopharmaceutical companies and regulatory network representatives to collaborate and jointly address specific obstacles to accelerate the development of effective treatments for children and adolescents with cancer.

These series of annual conferences aim to update stakeholders about clinical and preclinical strategic initiatives that can help accelerate anticancer drug development.

The conference topics this year covered the following:

  1. Update on ACCELERATE activities over the last 12 months
  2. Prioritizing therapeutic innovations in the new regulatory environment: the Paediatric Strategy Forums initiative
  3. Recent scientific breakthrough in anticancer drug development
  4. Progress in the ACCELERATE Working Groups
  5. New private sector initiatives to accelerate paediatric oncology drug development
  6. The global perspective
  7. Preparing for the new regulatory environment
  8. Breakout sessions (Challenges in prioritisation – The way forward; Beyond randomised controlled trials: ‘non-conventional’ data sources for regulatory decision-making; Preclinical testing in order to benefit children; Implementing the Race for Children Act)
  9. Keynote
  10. Report from the breakout sessions
  11. Wrap up and action plan for 2020

Detailed information available here.


9th ACCELERATE Paediatric Oncology Conference

SAVE THE DATE: 4-5 February 2021, Steigenberger Wiltcher’s Hotel, Brussels, Belgium

More information coming soon!


5th Paediatric Strategy Forum: 23-24 January 2020, Philadelphia

The 5th Multi-stakeholder Paediatric Strategy Forum, organised by ACCELERATE in collaboration with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) with participation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), was held on 23-24 January 200 in Philadelphia, USA.

The forum focused on epigenetic modifiers in children and adolescents. As most mutations in paediatric malignancies influence chromatin associated protein or transcription factors and paediatric cancers are driven by developmental gene expression, targeting epigenetics (or chromatin-based control of gene expression) is a very important therapeutic approach in paediatric cancer.

The specific aims of the Forum were to: 1) identify epigenetic targets or mechanisms of action relevant to paediatric cancers and 2) define the landscape for paediatric drug development of epigenetic modifiers.

A total of 72 participants from North America and Europe (academic experts, patient advocates from Children's Cause for Cancer Advocacy, Coalition Against Childhood Cancer, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, KickCancer, Solving Kids' Cancer and the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation; EMA [including the Paediatric Committee] and FDA regulators) and representatives from 11 biopharmaceutical companies discussed the scientific rationale for the epigenome to be a therapeutic target across all paediatric malignancies. 

The conclusions of the forum highlighted that epigenetic landscape is an evolving field and is highly relevant to many paediatric cancers. Targeting epigenetics is considered a very important therapeutic approach in paediatric malignancy, which has yet to achieve its full potential since many targets do not yet have drugs available.  

A detailed summary of the event is available here.

Last but not least, it is a pleasure to announce that the 6th Paediatric Strategy Forum will focus on the development of CAR T-cells in children and adolescents and is scheduled to take place on 16-17 November 2020 in Amsterdam.  Further information is available here.


Fostering Age Inclusive Research (FAIR) Trials Working Group

The Fostering Age Inclusive Research (FAIR) Trials Working Group has been very active the past months revamping the FAIR Trials web pages and releasing the press release ‘Teenagers with cancer set to benefit from international initiative aimed at lowering the age of participation to potentially life-saving treatments’.  This press release has been picked up by some publications such as ecancer, Touch Oncology and Applied Clinical Trials. 

The FAIR Trials website now includes the following resources:

Customised information is also available for various target audiences: paediatric/medical oncologists, patient/parent advocates, industry and regulators.  These stakeholders are now encouraged and supported with relevant messages to use in their relevant networks. 

More information here.