Research Report 2005 -TRAIL Trial

The Trail Trial programme was one of three research programmes reported in the CIKA winter newsletter for 2005 as beings being funded at that time. $120,000 was committed for 2004-2005 with a further $160,000 pledged for 2005-2006

The TRAIL programme was carried out in the Apoptosis Laboratory at the RCH. Its purpose was to develop a new technique to predict the responses of solid tumour patients to conventional and novel anti-cancer drugs. Novel agents to be tested included “TRAIL” (TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand).

Expected Outcomes: Establish whether TRAIL will be effective in treating solid tumours by developing a new technique and analysing fifty tumours during 2005. The new technique will enable tailored treatment protocols which should reduce later-life side effects from cancer treatment.

CIKA Funding Commencement: 2005.

Expected Completion:  2006.

Milestone: NHMRC Funding in 2007. Development of mouse models.

Cancers targetted: Neuroblastoma, Wilms’ tumour, Ewing sarcoma, osteosarcoma.

Further details of this project were reported in the first CIKA Newsletter for 2007.

TRAIL is the acronym for “TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand”. CIKA commenced funding this project in 2005. Its aim was to establish whether TRAIL is effective in treating solid tumours. The project was described in the first CIKA newsletter for 2007 when CIKA vice-president, Ellen Webb, provided this report from Christine Hawkins from the TRAIL project.

Largely as a consequence of the CIKA funded TRAIL project, the Children’s Cancer Centre has comprehensively re-vamped the way tumour samples are processed, for both research and diagnostic purposes. This new process will enable us to further pursue in-vitro sensitivity testing for solid tumours – analysing sensitivity to TRAIL as well as other new agents.

As you’ll understand, development of the new operating procedures was very time-consuming and involved. We had to get surgeons, pathologists, oncologists, researchers, ethics committee etc all on board, trained and organised. While doing that, we’ve been researching TRAIL sensitivity and signalling in both adult gliomas and paediatric leukaemias. I know this isn’t an area CIKA is directly concerned with, but I mention it because we’re hoping to be able to re-start the paediatric solid tumor TRAIL line of enquiry soon.
When we do, we’ll be able to take advantage of some new techniques we’ve developed while examining those other tumor types.