Children with cancer could be missing out on potentially life-saving drugs because EU regulations allow drug companies to opt out of running trials in children, cancer experts say. Since 2012, 62% of approved EU cancer drugs were not tested on under-18s. But cancers scientists say the rules should be changed so that adult cancer drugs have to be tested on children.They are also calling for the age limit for adult clinical trials to be lowered to include teenagers. The Institute of Cancer Research in London, cancer hospital the Royal Marsden and parents of children who have died from cancer say nowhere near enough cancer medicines are being trialed in children or licensed for use in children. A consultation is currently running on the future of EU rules on clinical trials, which means there is a chance they could be changed. Grace Kelly was four years old when she died from a very aggressive tumour in her kidney, just three weeks after she had been diagnosed, in 2014. Her mother, Jennifer, who is a GP, believes the regulations should be tightened to allow more tests of cancer drugs on children to take place. “There could have been a treatment for her out there, but we were told at her diagnosis that her cancer was [terminal],” she says. She says huge progress could be made in treating rare cancers if the rules were changed.

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