News in pediatric oncology

Researchers inch closer to better understanding of brain tumours in children

ertain brain cells may be inherently vulnerable to the kinds of mutations that cause fatal brain tumours in children and young adults, says a study whose international research team was co-led by a principal investigator at the Lady Davis Institute (LDI). The findings, recently published in the journal Nature Genetics, represent a significant advance in understanding the development of tumours known as high-grade gliomas. This could be significant in the design of clinical trials for new types of therapy.

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Incidence of childhood cancer in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic

We did not observe a statistically significant change in the ASIRs of childhood cancer during the first 9 months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada compared with the period before the pandemic. Moreover, enrolment in clinical trials remained stable, and we did not observe an increase in the proportion of patients with metastatic disease or early mortality. Although these results are reassuring, continued surveillance is necessary to ascertain potential long-term negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic among children with cancer.

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Hope for children with brain cancer

Brain cancer is the most common type of solid cancer in children, and can be notoriously difficult to target with interventions such as chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. But the work of Brain Canada-funded researchers is shedding new light into our ability to treat this pernicious childhood illness.

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Study provides ‘critical information’ for treating childhood cancer patients with COVID

A new paper in the Journal of Clinical Oncology shares findings from the largest registry of United States children with cancer who were diagnosed with COVID-19. Based on records from 917 children being treated at 94 United States institutions, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and colleagues found that “children with cancer and COVID-19 are at risk of having severe infection and having their cancer therapy modified” because of COVID infection, the authors write.

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Hospital celebrates ‘very brave’ Quebec toddler who finished lengthy chemotherapy

While other toddlers her age are focused on learning to walk and talk, two-year-old Maddison Chavez Espinosa’s milestones look little different.

On Monday, for example, she was cheered on by the oncology department at Sainte-Justine Children’s Hospital to celebrate finishing chemotherapy. Maddison has spent most of her short life in hospital, learning to cope with surgeries, and numerous treatments, all because of a brain tumor.

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