RIST Therapy


Children with high risk relapsed or treatment refractory neuroblastoma (rNB) represent a group of patients with dismal prognosis for whom a recommended standard salvage therapy is currently not available.

The multimodal metronomic approach combining molecular targeted drugs (rapamycin and dasatinib) with conventional chemotherapy (irinotecan and temozolomide) will be investigated in a randomized fashion as new treatment strategy for patients with rNB. The intention is to assess the therapeutic benefit of molecular targeted drugs for the treatment of rNB.

The combination of irinotecan and temozolomide showed activity in the treatment of several solid organ tumors, brain tumors and neuroblastoma. In one study rNB patients received a median of 5 courses of 5 days irinotecan and temozolomide every 3 to 4 weeks with a cumulative dose of 35% lower than in the RIST design. 33% had disease regression with 8% CR or PR. A phase II study in rNB also using irinotecan and temozolomide with a substantially lower intensity showed a response rate of 15%.

The combination of a mTOR inhibitor with a multi-kinase inhibitor demonstrated in preclinical studies a synergistic effect on cell cycle arrest, apoptosis and sensitization for radio- and chemotherapy. It is assumed that this combination of molecular targeted drugs with a tolerable conventional chemotherapy consisting of irinotecan and temozolomide can substantially improve the outcome of this patient population. A group of 20 rNB patients treated with the RIST therapy approach in a compassionate use setting showed an overall survival of 55%