In the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia a antibody therapy has been developed . This gives a twenty percent higher chance of cure in high-risk neuroblastoma. There has not been such a huge improvement over the past twenty years. In contrast, it’s a hard therapy, not all patients finish the treatment because of adverse reactions .
In 2009 Hannah Max was the first Dutch patient to travel to the US for treatment. Participation was so new that until shortly before departure was unclear whether health insurance would reimburse the treatment. The financial questions have now been solved: the health insurers in the Netherlands are participating in the medical costs of therapy! Costs for accommodation and living expenses are, however, for ones own account.
To be eligible for treatment in the U.S., a child should complete the full treatment in the Netherland. This is necessary because the treatment is a research treatment. In order to be able to compare and assessto the outcome of therapy, they need the patients to have the same baseline startingpoint.
So far a small number of children have traveled to the USA. Some children had to stop their treatment because of side effects. Pain is a common side effect, as are severe allergic reactions.
Treatment in Europa of the Netherlands
It is unclear if this treatment can be given in Europe or the Netherlands. Currently there are three obstacles:
- There is no European studies with the antibodies used in the U.S.
- The European authority has not yet approved these medicines.
- There is no pharmaceutical company which sells these medicins on the market.
Despite all these factors Dutch practitioners think immunotherapy is so important that they would like to add it to the standard treatment for high risk neuroblastoma. The twenty percent higher success rate, which was evident from the first survey among 228 patients shows it.Source (translated):
Villa Joep: 14 december 2010
Immuuntherapie Philadelphia: grote verbetering, maar zware therapie