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Strides Made in Treating Childhood Cancer: Report

Posted 11 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 9, 2016 – Significant progress has been made in treating childhood cancers, but more needs to be done to fight tougher cancers and protect the long-term health of survivors, a new report says. In 2016, more than 14,600 children aged 19 and younger will be diagnosed with some form of pediatric cancer, and 1,850 will die, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), which compiled the report with the Alliance for Childhood Cancer. "The numbers here tell a compelling story," said Katherine Sharpe, senior vice president of patient and caregiver support at the ACS. "We have seen significant progress when it comes to developing effective treatments for a variety of pediatric cancer sites and ultimately saving lives," she said in an ACS news release. "But when we expand our view to look at all pediatric cancers, as well as long-term health and survival, it becomes clear that ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Leukemia, Brain Tumor, Neuroblastoma

Double Stem Cell Transplant May Help Fight a Childhood Cancer

Posted 7 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 7, 2016 – Young children with a rare and often deadly cancer of the nervous system might have a better chance of survival if they receive two stem cell transplants, a new study reports. The double stem cell transplant allows children with neuroblastoma to withstand two rounds of chemotherapy rather than one, improving their odds by killing more cancer cells, said lead researcher Dr. Julie Park. She is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seattle. Three years after diagnosis, about 61 percent of children who received a double transplant remained alive and cancer-free, compared to 48 percent of children who only received a single transplant, the researchers reported. Survival improved even more when kids also were treated with immunotherapy drugs, which boost the ability of their immune systems to find and destroy cancer cells, ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Neuroblastoma

Certain Cancers Seem Less Likely for Kids of Hispanic Moms Born Outside U.S.

Posted 25 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 25, 2016 – Children of Hispanic mothers who weren't born in the United States may be at lower risk for some types of childhood cancers, a new study suggests. "Incorporating the immigrant experience into studies of childhood cancer may help to inform research on disease [causes], identify vulnerable populations and highlight opportunities for cancer prevention," said Julia Heck, of the University of California, Los Angeles, and her study co-authors. It is important to evaluate childhood cancer risk in the large and growing Hispanic population, the research team said. For the study, the investigators analyzed data from children born in California between 1983 and 2012. The analysis was limited to children of U.S.-born white, U.S.-born Hispanic, or non-U.S.-born Hispanic mothers. Among the children, there were about 13,600 cancer diagnoses before age 6, and more than 15.5 ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Malignant Glioma, Neuroblastoma, Wilms' Tumor, Anaplastic Astrocytoma

U.S. Oncologists Decry High Cost of Cancer Drugs

Posted 23 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 – Soaring costs for cancer drugs are hurting patient care in the United States, a group of top oncologists claim. "High cancer-drug prices are affecting the care of patients with cancer and our health care system," Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a Mayo news release. Tefferi and his colleagues made a number of recommendations on how to address the problem in a commentary published July 23 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices is one of the suggestions the team of 118 leading cancer experts offered as a possible solution. Along with their recommendations, the group also expressed support for a patient-based grassroots movement on change.org that is demanding action on the issue. "The average gross household income in the U.S. is about $52,000 per year. For an insured patient with ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Prostate Cancer, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Femara, Lupron Depot, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Rituxan

FDA Approves Unituxin (dinutuximab) for Pediatric High-Risk Neuroblastoma

Posted 10 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

On March 10, 2015, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration approved dinutuximab (Unituxin, United Therapeutics Corporation), in combination with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interleukin-2 (IL-2), and 13-cis-retinoic acid (RA), for the treatment of pediatric patients with high-risk neuroblastoma who achieve at least a partial response to prior first-line multiagent, multimodality therapy. Dinutuximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody (also known as ch 14.18), composed of a combination of mouse and human DNA. The approval was based on demonstration of improved event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) in a multicenter, open-label, randomized trial conducted by the Children’s Oncology Group. Prior to enrollment, patients had achieved at least a partial response to prior therapy for newly diagnosed high-risk neuroblastoma, consisting of induction c ... Read more

Related support groups: Pediatrics, Neuroblastoma

Gene Discovery Gives Clues to a Childhood Cancer

Posted 13 Mar 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 13 – A newly discovered genetic mutation is more common in teens and young adults than infants with a nerve tissue cancer called neuroblastoma. The gene with the defect is called ATRX. While this defect was found in many teens and young adults with neuroblastoma, none of the infants with the disease who were tested had this genetic defect. This is important because babies are the ones who most commonly develop neuroblastoma. And, in babies, the disease tends to take a much less aggressive course. "In infants, neuroblastoma is often treatable. In older patients, it tends to be more clinically aggressive," said study co-author Dr. Alberto Pappo, director of the solid tumor division at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. "About 90 percent of neuroblastomas happen in children less than 10 years old. When it happens in teens and young adults, they usually ... Read more

Related support groups: Neuroblastoma

Experimental Drug Aids Kids With Nervous System Tumor

Posted 29 Sep 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 29 – Adding an experimental immunotherapy drug to the standard regimen of care extended the lives and decreased the risk of a disease recurrence in children with high-risk neuroblastoma, a new study says. This type of tumor is not actually a brain tumor because it appears outside the brain and spinal cord. But it accounts for 12 percent of cancer-related deaths in children under the age of 15. Half of patients with this type of malignancy have the high-risk form, according to background information with the study. In this trial, 46 percent of children who had the conventional treatment were alive after two years, compared to 66 percent of those who also received the immunotherapy, known as ch14.18. The difference was significant enough to halt the study early so all children could start receiving ch14.18. "It's a statistically significant improvement, so the kids who ... Read more

Related support groups: Neuroblastoma

Kids Who Beat Cancer Still Face Heart Risks

Posted 9 Dec 2009 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 – Survivors of childhood cancer have a significantly increased risk for developing heart disease as young adults, a new study finds. The finding came from an analysis of data on 14,358 five-year cancer survivors who were diagnosed before age 21 and 3,899 siblings of cancer survivors. The cancers were leukemia, brain cancer, Hodgkin's lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, kidney cancer, neuroblastoma, soft tissue carcinoma or bone cancer. The study found that young adult survivors of these childhood cancers are much more likely than others in their age group to have cardiovascular problems, including heart failure, heart attack, heart inflammation and heart valve abnormalities, for up to 30 years after being treated for cancer. They also found that the risk was associated with lower exposure to chemotherapy and radiation treatment than previously thought. "Young adults who ... Read more

Related support groups: Hairy Cell Leukemia, Leukemia, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Renal Cell Carcinoma, Brain Tumor, Osteosarcoma, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Pituitary Tumor, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Soft Tissue Sarcoma, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Malignant Glioma, Acute Nonlymphocytic Leukemia, Chronic Eosinophilic Leukemia, Anaplastic Oligodendroglioma, Neuroblastoma

Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma

Posted 14 May 2009 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 14 – In a phase 3 clinical trial, an experimental immune-based treatment boosted by 20 percent the overall survival of those with tough-to-treat neuroblastoma, which affects mostly children. The findings are to be presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology annual meeting, which starts later this month in Florida. The trial involved 226 patients newly diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system. Standard treatment includes surgery, aggressive chemotherapy with "stem cell rescue" (where the patient's stem cells are removed before treatment, then returned after chemotherapy to boost blood/immune function) and radiation therapy. "Even though we treat it with aggressive therapy, high-risk neuroblastoma often returns, and most patients do not survive," Dr. Alice Yu, a professor of hematology/oncology at the University of California, San ... Read more

Related support groups: Neuroblastoma

Older Drug Effective in Treating Pediatric Nerve Cancer

Posted 20 Jan 2009 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 – An anti-cancer drug shelved because it was thought to be too toxic may be effective in small doses against a devastating pediatric cancer, a new study found. In tests on animal models, the drug a-difluoromethylornithine, or DFMO, helped prevent the spread of neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system responsible for 15 percent of all pediatric deaths related to cancer. "The drug, which was developed as a cancer therapy and later shelved because of toxicity concerns, has been around since the 1970s," John Cleveland, chair of the Scripps Florida department of cancer biology, whose laboratory conducted the study, said in a news release issued by the institution. "But over the past five years, it has undergone a rebirth as a chemoprevention agent, first showing efficacy in animal models of human cancer and, more recently, in human prostate and colon cancer. Our study ... Read more

Related support groups: Neuroblastoma

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cisplatin, cyclophosphamide, Adriamycin, vincristine, doxorubicin, Platinol, Oncovin, Adriamycin PFS, Unituxin, Vincasar PFS, dinutuximab, Platinol-AQ, Adriamycin RDF