CC Community News Digest (January 4-17)

Assorted news from the last two weeks:

FDA approval of Pfizer’s XALKORI® (crizotinib) is a major milestone in the treatment of children and young adults with ALK-positive Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma.

Researchers at Uppsala University have investigated the socioeconomic impact on parents of having a child diagnosed with cancer:  mothers’ incomes fall in the short term and then rise, the adverse financial repercussions on fathers occur later.

As the FDA and others take stock of the lessons learned during the Covid-19 pandemic, we should consider elevating the needs of children and embracing approaches that are faster, more innovative, and more flexible for kids — our unsung cancer pioneers.

Pediatric cancer survivors are often lost to follow-up at this point.  Nurses may be the solution.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity may be more difficult for cancer survivors than the general population, the study authors explained, due to lingering treatment side effects, fatigue, and reduced muscle strength, not to mention emotional challenges.  For childhood cancer survivors, this may be complicated further by “[a] lack of resources, negative thoughts and feelings toward a healthy lifestyle, and negative environmental and social influences.” A recent study examined patterns and desires regarding exercise among childhood cancer survivors to glean a better understanding of how to implement an exercise intervention in this population.

NCI resource provides emotional support for young people with cancer.

In a large study of pediatric cancer patients, researchers from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have analyzed the frequency, fusion partners, and clinical outcome of neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) fusions, which are clinical biomarkers that identify patients suitable for treatment with FDA-approved TRK inhibitors. The researchers found that NTRK fusions are more common in pediatric tumors and also involve a wider range of tumors than adult cancers, information that could help prioritize screening for NTRK fusions in pediatric cancer patients who might benefit from treatment with TRK inhibitors.

A quality improvement sought to shorten the time to antibiotics in pediatric oncology patients who are suspected to have neutropenia.

Germline predisposition variants associated with cancer susceptibility syndromes can underlie the genetic risk for rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), indicating that germline testing should be performed in accordance with RMS subtypes and irrespective of age, according to findings from a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Pediatric inpatients with cancer may be overexposed to a number of medications in their last week of life; however, symptoms may still not be well managed despite the continue medication use, according to study results published in Pediatric Blood & Cancer.

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