About ChiLDREN'S Liver Tumour European Research Network (ChiLTERN)

ChiLTERN (Children’s Liver Tumour European Research Network) is a 5-year project that relates to topic PHC 18 ‘establishing effectiveness of health care interventions in the paediatric population’ and is funded by the European Commission. A comprehensive research programme connected to the single largest clinical trial ever undertaken amongst the paediatric population, ChiLTERN will aim to cure more children with liver cancer, expose fewer children to toxic chemotherapy and ensure their surgery is both effective and safe.

Twenty-three beneficiaries form the consortium from across thirteen countries; the UK, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, France, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Associate partners from the USA (COG) and Japan (JCCG) are involved in results integration.

The objectives of the ChiLTERN project are to undertake the PHITT trial within Europe and provide additional biological, technological and pharmacological platforms which will address the following key issues facing children with liver cancer recruited in the PHITT trial.

  • To validate prospectively a clinical risk stratification
  • To reduce chemotherapy-related toxicity safely without compromising the high cure rates
  • To establish a clinically and pathologically annotated biobank
  • To develop genomic and biomarker analysis to predict children who may have an increased risk of developing toxicity with chemotherapy
  • To provide a comprehensive and highly validated panel of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in both HB and HCC
  • To determine if paediatric HCC is a biologically different entity to adult HCC
  • To utilise a novel imaging platform to assess the surgical resectability of liver tumours leading to safer operative procedures