Children with cancer are being denied new potentially life-saving drugs, cancer experts working in Sutton have warned.

The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), based in Sutton, said EU rules are allowing companies to trial certain drugs only in adults.

They argue that under the current system, companies often gain exemptions from carrying out expensive testing of cancer drugs in patients under the age of 18, even if it is suggested it could work in children.

This causes delays in new drugs becoming available for children and has led the ICR to call for urgent modifications to the current systems to ensure companies test more of their drugs in children.

Paul Burstow, the MP for Sutton and Cheam, said: “Our scientists are doing phenomenal work understanding the evolution of cancer and how to tackle it.

"However, that work is being held back by rules which harm patient care.

"Childhood cancer is a tragic reality for thousands of families, and it makes no sense to restrict research into potentially life-saving new treatments.

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Sutton and Cheam MP Paul Burstow

“It is important that we have rules to govern the ethical pursuit of new medicines, but these rules must be grounded in scientific reality and human need.”