Our Research

The new reality of neuroblastoma treatment we’re working on uses targeted therapy, oral drugs, low side effects, and targets preventing relapse or treating relapse without punitive therapies.

PEDS-PLAN – Pediatric Precision Laboratory Advanced Neuroblastoma Therapy

A prospective open label, multicenter study to evaluate the feasibility and acute toxicity of using molecularly guided therapy in combination with standard therapy followed by maintenance therapy with DFMO in subjects with newly diagnosed high risk neuroblastoma.

NMTT- Neuroblastoma Maintenance Therapy Trial Using Diflluromethylornithine DFMO)

Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) will be used in an open label, single agent, multicenter, study for patients with neuroblastoma in remission. In this study subjects will receive 730 Days of oral difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) at a dose of 500 to 1000 mg/m2 BID on each day of study. This study will focus on the use of DFMO in high risk neuroblastoma patients that are in remission as a strategy to prevent recurrence.

Molecular-Guided Therapy for Childhood Cancer

Test the feasibility (ability to be done) of experimental technologies to determine a tumor's molecular makeup. This technology includes a genomic report based on DNA exomes and RNA sequencing that will be used to discover new ways to understand cancers and potentially predict the best treatments for patients with cancer in the future.

Preventative Trial of Difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) in High Risk Patients With Neuroblastoma That is in Remission

Evaluate a new investigational drug to prevent reoccurrence of neuroblastoma that is in remission. This study drug is called DFMO. The objectives of this study will be to monitor for safety and look at efficacy of DFMO.

Study of Nifurtimox to Treat Refractory or Relapsed Neuroblastoma or Medulloblastoma

Determine whether nifurtimox in combination with cyclophosphamide and topotecan are effective in the treatment of relapsed or refractory neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma.

Molecular Guided Therapy for Refractory or Recurrent Neuroblastoma

Test the feasibility (ability to be done) of an experimental test to help plan your cancer treatment. This study plan is not studying the effectiveness of the proposed combinations of therapy for your cancer that you may receive after the experimental testing.

This study will look at an experimental technology to determine a tumor's molecular makeup (gene expression profile). This technology (called "OncInsights") is being used to discover new ways to understand cancers and potentially predict the best treatments for patients with cancer in the future. The experimental technology has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Molecular-Guided Therapy for Relapsed and Refractory Childhood Cancer

Test the feasibility (ability to be done) of experimental technologies to determine a tumor's molecular makeup (gene expression profile) and mutations. This technology called the "Pediatric Gene Analysis Platform" includes a genomic report (gene expression profile) and a DNA Mutation Panel Report that are being used to discover new ways to understand cancers and potentially predict the best treatments for patients with cancer in the future.

A Trial Using Molecular-Guided Therapy in Patients With Refractory or Recurrent Neuroblastoma

The investigators are studying new ways to make treatment decisions for these types of cancer. Technologies at the Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) are available to determine a tumor's molecular makeup (gene expression profile). This technology (called "Xenobase") is being used to discover new ways to understand cancers and potentially predict the best treatments for patients with cancer. The researchers at VARI have filed a patent on the Xenobase and the specific network analysis method that the investigators will be using as part of this study.

A specimen obtained from the tumor during a recent surgical, biopsy, or bone marrow procedure will be sent to the Van Andel Research Institute. Researchers will attempt to identify the molecular makeup within the specimen, as well as in blood and urine samples in patients with aggressive and/or refractory cancer. This additional testing is different than the routine tests currently performed at the hospital for the evaluation of cancer.

The goals of this part of the study are: To determine if the investigators tumor board committee (at minimum a panel of 3 oncologists and 1 pharmacist) can use patient specific cancer cells to make real-time treatment decision using patient specific genetic information, and predicted therapies generated in the Xenobase report.