ABSTRACT Objective: Recent increased awareness and research studies reflect possible associations between opioid exposure and cancer outcomes. Children with neuroblastoma (NB) often require opioid treatment for pain. However, associations between tumor response to chemotherapy and opioid exposure have not been investigated in clinical settings. Methods: This is a single institution retrospective review of patients with NB treated between 2013 and 2016. We evaluated opioid consumption quantified in morphine equivalent doses (mg/kg) based on nurse- or patient-controlled analgesia during antibody infusions. We also analyzed their associations with change in tumor volume and extra-adrenal tumor burden. Results: Of 42 patients given opioids for pain related to anti-GD2 mAb, data completion was achieved for 36 and details of statistical analyses were entered. Median total weight-based morphine equivalent (over 8 days) was 4.71 mg/kg (interquartile range 3.49-7.96). We found a statistically insignificant weak negative relationship between total weight-based morphine equivalents and tumor volume ratio (correlation coefficient -0.0103, p-value 0.9525) and a statistically insignificant weak positive relationship between total weight-based morphine equivalent and Curie score (correlation coefficient 0.1096, p-value 0.5247). Conclusion: Our study found no statistically significant correlation between opioid consumption and NK cell-mediated killing of NB cells as measured by effects on tumor volume/tumor load.
Background. Osteonecrosis (ON) is a long-known complication of acute leukemia (AL) management affecting 1 to 10% of young patients, leading to long-term morbidity. Widespread access to Magnetic Resonance Imagery (MRI) over the past ten years has allowed earlier detection and more accurate assessment. This study investigated clinical and radiological features of ON, among the large French cohort L.E.A (Leucémie Enfant Adolescent) Procedure. Patients with ON were retrospectively enrolled and risk factors for the onset, the multifocal involvement and severe damage were analyzed. Quality of life (QoL) was also evaluated. A sub-study described radiological features. Results. 129/4973 patients developed ON (2.5%) and were preferentially aged over 10 years at time of AL diagnosis (OR 22.46, p <10-6). Females were preferentially affected (OR 1.8, p=0.002) like patients treated for relapse (OR 1.81, p=0.041). Patients presenting ON suffered more frequently from other sequelae (p<10-6). Most of the necrosis were involving weight-bearing joints and multiple joints in 69% of cases. MRI of 39 patients with ON were double blinded reviewed. Overall, 14/39 suffered from severe impairment, preferentially on hips. QoL of adolescents and adults was poor and permanently affected once ON occurred. Conclusions. Age of over 10 years at diagnosis of AL, relapse and female sex were at risk of developing ON involving preferentially multiple joints. One third was severe and lasting poor QoL impacting several domains was found. Future studies should include prospective data on management and biological genetic features to build a targeted screening program to detect and manage ON earlier.
Background T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LBL) is an aggressive neoplasm closely related to T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL). Despite their similarities, and contrary to T-ALL, studies on pediatric T-LBL are scarce and, therefore, its molecular landscape has not been fully elucidated yet. Procedure To characterize the genetic and molecular heterogeneity of paediatric T-LBL, 33 patients were analyzed using an integrated approach, including targeted next generation sequencing, RNA-sequencing transcriptome analysis and copy-number arrays. Results Copy number and mutational analyses allowed the detection of recurrent homozygous deletions of 9p/CDKN2A (78%), trisomy 20 (19%) and gains of 17q24-q25 (16%), as well as frequent mutations of NOTCH1 (62%), followed by BCL11B (23%), WT1 (19%) and FBXW7, PHF6 and RPL10 genes (15%, respectively). This genetic profile did not differ to that described in T-ALL in terms of mutation incidence and global genomic complexity level but unveiled virtually exclusive 17q25 gains and trisomy 20 in T-LBL. Additionally, we identified novel gene fusions in paediatric T-LBL including NOTCH1-IKZF2, RNGTT-SNAP91 and DDX3X-MLLT10, the latter being the only one previously described in T-ALL. Moreover, clinical correlations highlighted the presence of Notch pathway alterations as a factor related to favorable outcome. Conclusions In summary, the genomic landscape of paediatric T-LBL is similar to that observed in T-ALL and Notch signaling pathway deregulation remains the cornerstone in its pathogenesis, including not only mutations but fusion genes targeting NOTCH1.
BACKGROUND: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is an aggressive malignancy, and 20% of children present with metastases at diagnosis. Patients presenting with disseminated disease very occasionally have no clear evidence of a primary tumor mass. Since these patients have rarely been investigated, we report on a series of patients with RMS and unknown primary tumor site registered in the MTS 2008 protocol (October 2008 - December 2016) coordinated by the European pediatric Soft tissue sarcoma Study Group. METHODS: Patients were administered 9 cycles of induction chemotherapy, and 48 weeks of maintenance chemotherapy. Surgery and/or radiotherapy was planned after the first assessment of tumor response, and implemented after six cycles of chemotherapy. If feasible, radiotherapy to all sites of metastasis was recommended. RESULTS: We identified 10 patients with RMS and unknown primary site, most of them adolescents (median age 15.8 years, range 4.6-20.4). Nine had fusion-positive alveolar RMS. Multiple organ involvement was identified in 7 patients, 2 only had bone marrow disease, and 1 only had leptomeningeal dissemination. All patients were given chemotherapy, 4 were irradiated, and none had surgery. Three patients underwent allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. At the time of this analysis, only 2 patients are alive in complete remission: 1 had received radiotherapy; and 1 had a bone marrow transplant. CONCLUSIONS: RMS with unknown primary tumor occurs mainly in adolescents and is typically fusion-positive alveolar. Radiotherapy may be important, but survival is poor and patients should be offered enrollment in investigational trials.
Pediatric and adolescent and young adult (AYA) thromboembolism is treated with anticoagulation. While anticoagulation non-adherence in adults has been linked to increased morbidity and mortality, much is unknown concerning medication adherence in pediatric and AYA populations. The aims of this study were to describe barriers to adherence in anticoagulated pediatric and AYA outpatients and to explore the relationship between barriers and self-reported adherence. Nearly 75% of patients and caregivers reported barriers to anticoagulation adherence, and a greater number of reported barriers was associated with lower adherence (rpb = 0.48, p = .01). Limitations, clinical implications, and future directions are discussed.
Objective : Spectrum of hepatic presentation in Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) varies from asymptomatic hepatomegaly to secondary sclerosing cholangitis leading to cirrhosis with or without decompensation. Conventional chemotherapy may be counterproductive in a patient with LCH and hepatic decompensation. We analysed the outcomes of our patients with hepatic presentation of LCH, including their post liver transplant (LT) follow up. Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on patients with hepatic presentation of LCH referred to our unit. Their clinical profile, chemotherapy protocol, details of LT and survival were analysed. A management algorithm based on the outcomes was proposed. Results: Five of 8 patients were male. Median age of diagnosis was 25(9-48) months. 8(100%) patients had portal hypertension with 4(50%) having decompensated cirrhosis. 6 (75%) patients underwent LT of which 2 had acute decompensation and 4 had sclerosing cholangitis with portal hypertension. Of the two remaining patients, 1 did not tolerate chemotherapy and succumbed, whereas 1 patient after first cycle of chemotherapy was lost to follow up. As their liver disease was worsening during chemotherapy (after 8 & 20 weeks of chemotherapy), two patients underwent urgent LT followed by continuation of chemotherapy. After median follow-up of 30.5 (10.5-50) months, all patients were alive with stable graft function and no disease recurrence. Conclusion: As shown in our series, an algorithmic approach to patient and treatment selection for LCH patients with liver involvement combined with newer chemotherapeutic agents and an optimized immunosuppression can result in excellent outcomes for a hitherto unfamiliar disease.
For a Life Beyond the CureTissy Lagun Costa11Division of Pedagogical Coordination, Nursery and Pre-kindergarten, Escolinha do Faz-de-Conta, Orlândia, São Paulo, Brasil* Correspondence to:Tissy Lagun Costa, Avenida Dois, 894, Centro, Orlândia, São Paulo, 14620-000, Brasil, Tel.: +55(16)99608-2350, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgText word count 1099;Abstract word count: 0;Brief running title: For a life beyond the cureKey words: palliative care, DIPG, brain, tumor, CNS tumorTables: 0Figures: 0I didn’t expect that pregnancy. I really wanted it; but after going through a fertility treatment to have my first son, I couldn’t imagine that the second would come so easily. It was only eighteen months between one birth and the next one. First a boy and then a girl. A girl we called Alice.She was a beautiful baby. Delicate. From the first sight, we knew she would have great hair. She was never bald. When her newborn hair started to fall out, strong thick hair grew immediately covering her cute round head. She had a perfect body. Slender and – believe me! – with a well-defined waist.At three months, the color of her eyes began to change. One eye changed first, followed by the other. Is that normal? I don’t know. But that is how it happened. One eye was already brown, while the other still had shades of light green.She smiled for the first time. She used to grab all the objects surrounding her crib and, several times she watched her own hand moving in awe as if there was magic about it. She sat, crawled and walked all at the proper ages. She spoke her first words and quickly expanded her vocabulary. She admired her chatty brother, and there was no shortage of stimuli.She started to go to school. She was a happy and clever student. Praised by all her teachers. She actively participated in all activities. She rehearsed for presentations and cultural events. My sole contribution was to smile filled with pride – and to sew costumes for her plays and dresses for dancing around.She made bonds. Her friends were dear. They played together all the time. Her gang consisted of two boys, the twin girls, the two other girls who loved to make mischief and her best friend. Alice was the peacemaker of the group; she didn’t like conflict.Her birthdays were celebrated with many guests. When she started to understand what a party was, she made sure to always choose a theme: Little Red Riding Hood, Enchanted Fairies and Doll Tea Party complete with a full set of porcelain tea cups and pots for the stuffed guests.One day, running to get to the door to greet her best friend, she tripped and fell, hitting her mouth on the floor. Her two front teeth blackened. I didn’t worry. They were her baby teeth. After several toothless smiles, new strong teeth would grow. My life was normal, like any other mom.Until in January 2014, when everything changed.“Unfortunately, Alice has a very aggressive tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, a.k.a. DIPG. In ninety-five percent of cases, the child dies after a few months.”; that was her diagnosis.What?! How could a routine medical appointment end up like that? I brought to the doctor a simple question: do we have to do something about her right eye being a bit misaligned? How can a question as simple as that require several appointments, examinations and two MRIs?After a crash course in neuro-oncology, we understood that Alice’s right eye couldn’t move to the right because of the sixth cranial nerve. And that nerve was connected to a time bomb about to explode.Our first reaction was of shock and awe. There must be a mistake. The doctors weren’t considering a second opinion when interpreting the images? Couldn’t it be something else? Maybe some dirt on the lens?When reality finally struck me, I faced a storm. The picture that comes to mind is a dam bursting; my body taking all that chaotic energy to avoid complete devastation. A torrential flow of conflicting emotions compounded each other. It took from me and my family our capacity to breathe, to feel and think – it got into our bones. It made us physically crumble on top of ourselves. But, no matter what, we needed to make the most important decision of our lives, so we didn’t fall apart.And we chose life.It didn’t matter how much time Alice had to live. Her life would be worth it. Each hour, each minute and each second would have meaning.Our first reaction was to avoid medical treatment. To put our plan in motion and to wait for the inevitable outcome. But it is too hard to do nothing. So, we chose the treatment that had the least impact on quality of life. Which until then was perfect. As I said, it was only her eye…What marked that period was the sorrow for the loss of what could be. It was the death of all the dreams we once dreamt for Alice: a long life full of accomplishments. The ending would be a family picture, a big family with grandkids all around and great grandkids on her lap.With our goals reevaluated, our objective was to live intensely in her last months of life. We travel to several places. The kids learned karate. We camped in the forest. We went fishing. We played in the snow. Anything was worthy of celebration. A sunny day. A fun movie. The birth of a puppy at the farm. A shower in the rain. And, against all odds, we celebrated three more birthdays.During those three years, we held our breath and focused on the present. One day, that effort took a toll on us. We were exhausted. After several MRIs that didn’t show any change in the tumor, nobody could tell if it was really dead. But suddenly, the uncertainty became certainty; the tumor started to grow again.Without the same energy we had before, we had to start a new plan. To face the most feared challenges we had avoided until now — the devastating symptoms that would take Alice from us piece by piece.The loss of movement on the right side of her face. The loss of movement of her legs and arms. The loss of her muscular tone. The loss of her ability to swallow. And, in the end… the loss of her heartbeat.Alice left the scene at nine years old.She is deeply missed; it’s painful. It’s a void that establishes itself as a physical being that we learn to live with.Drop by drop, I began to fill this void with memories. Writing helped me to get closer to my daughter. I wrote a book. These memories are dear to me. They are forever etched in paper.And like that, whenever I sit to write, I chat with my daughter Alice.What do we talk about?We talk about the beautiful life she lived.
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a well-described cancer in Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), resulting from germline TP53 pathogenic variants (PVs). RMS exhibiting anaplasia (anRMS) have been associated with a high rate of germline TP53 PVs. This study provides an updated estimate of the prevalence of TP53 germline PVs from a large cohort of patients (n=239) enrolled in five Children’s Oncology Group (COG) clinical trials. Although the prevalence of germline TP53 PVs in anRMS patients in this series is much lower than previously reported, this prevalence remains significantly elevated. Germline genetic evaluation for TP53 PVs should be strongly considered in patients with anRMS.
Background: The incidence of brain tumours in India equate to half of those in the developed world. Delayed diagnosis is associated with a higher risk of life-threatening neurological complications at presentation and poor cognitive outcomes amongst survivors. Early detection and treatment is crucial for improving outcomes. Aims: The aim of this study was to analyse baseline diagnostic intervals for paediatric brain tumours in Tamil Nadu. Methods: Data for this retrospective study was collected via questionnaire across 8 different hospitals in Tamil Nadu. It consisted of 14 questions where doctors were asked to record data items including the date of symptom onset, first presentation to healthcare and date of diagnosis. Results: 114 children were diagnosed with a brain tumour between January 2018 – October 2020. The average diagnostic interval was 9.3 weeks (median 3.5 weeks), and the average patient interval is 6.1 weeks (median 0.6 weeks.). Low-grade tumours had the longest median total diagnostic interval of 6.6 weeks. The median total diagnostic interval was significantly higher in villages (7.9 weeks), as compared to patients located in District (4.8 weeks) and cities (2.3 weeks). Conclusion: Overall, the diagnostic interval for paediatric brain tumours were comparable to data in the UK. Moreover, all patients received an MRI within a day, indicating excellent infrastructure.. However, many low-grade and optic pathway tumours were unaccounted for. Tamil Nadu has one of the best healthcare systems in India and extending this methodology to areas with poorer healthcare provisions, is required to get representative national data.
Social determinants of health (SDoH) are associated with stark disparities in cancer outcomes, but systematic SDoH data collection is currently absent from oncology clinical trials. Trial-based SDoH data are essential to ensure representation of marginalized populations, contextualize outcomes, and identify health-equity intervention opportunities. We report the feasibility of the first pediatric oncology multicenter trial-embedded SDoH investigation. Among 448 trial participants, 392 (87.5%) opted-in to the embedded SDoH study; 375 (95.7%) completed baseline surveys, with high longitudinal response rates (87.2-92.8%) over 24-months of therapy. Trial-embedded SDoH data collection is feasible and acceptable, and must be consistently included within future oncology trials.
Erythroid sarcoma is very rare form of pure erythroid leukemia with undetermined biological features. Here, we present an infant with a multifocal erythroid sarcoma, diagnosed because the tumor cells were positive for glycophorin A. After acute myeloid leukemia-oriented chemotherapy and surgical resection followed by cord blood transplantation, he has successfully maintained complete remission without any late effects. Total transcriptome analysis of the tumor identified a novel fusion gene, RCC1-LCK, and high LCK expression levels, suggesting that LCK overexpression was involved in leukemogenesis in this case.
Purpose: Primary germ cell tumors (GCTs) are the most common central nervous system (CNS) neoplasm in patients with Down syndrome (DS). However, a standard-of-care has not been established due to a paucity of data. Methods: A retrospective multi-institutional analysis was conducted, in addition to a comprehensive review of the literature. Results: Ten patients from six institutions (five USA, one Brazil) were identified, in addition to 31 patients in the literature from 1975 to 2021. Of the 41 total patients (mean age 9.9 years; 61% male), 16 (39%) had non-germinomatous germ cell tumors (NGGCTs), 16 (39%) had pure germinomas and eight (19.5%) had teratomas. Basal ganglia was the most common tumor location (n=13; 31.7%), followed by posterior fossa (n=7; 17%). Nine patients (22%) experienced disease relapse or progression, of which four died from tumor progression (one germinoma, three teratomas). Sixteen patients (39%) experienced treatment-related complications, of which eight (50%) died (five germinomas, three NGGCTs). Of the germinoma patients, two died from chemotherapy-related sepsis, one from post-surgery cardiopulmonary failure, one from pneumonia and one from Moyamoya following radiation-therapy (RT). Of the NGGCT patients, one died from chemotherapy-related sepsis, one from post-surgical infection and one from pneumonia following surgery/chemotherapy/RT. Three-year overall survival was 66% for all histological types – 62% germinomas, 79% for NGGCTs, and 53% for teratomas. Conclusion: Patients with DS treated for CNS GCTs are at an increased risk of treatment-related adverse events. A different therapeutic approach may need to be considered to mitigate treatment-related complications and long-term neurocognitive sequelae.
In Italy, 1400 children and 800 adolescents are diagnosed with cancer every year. About 80% of them can be cured but are at high risk of experiencing severe side effects, many of which respond to rehabilitation treatment. Due to the paucity of literature on this topic, the Italian Association of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology organized a Consensus Conference on the role of rehabilitation of motor impairments in children/adolescents affected by leukemia, central nervous system tumors, and bone cancer to state recommendations to improve clinical practice. This paper includes the results on the rehabilitation treatment.
Nonprofit organizations (NPOs) play critical roles as funding sources, research partners, and disseminators of emerging drug developments in pediatric cancer, yet the literature offers limited understanding or guidance of ethical best practices and processes. We conducted a systematic search for peer reviewed articles, commentaries, newsletters, and white papers indexed in the PubMed and Web of Science databases to identify the ethical, legal, and social responsibilities of NPOs to i) patients/families, ii) researchers, iii) sponsors, and iv) donors when funding clinical trials. Fifty-four articles met the inclusion criteria. Minimizing conflicts of interest, ensuring transparent reporting of trial endpoints, and communicating with families about trial opportunities emerged as key themes. We identified critical gaps in the literature related to negotiating research partnerships, setting trial priorities and establishing best ethical practices in the emerging field of venture philanthropy. Results informed points to consider for NPOs when funding pediatric cancer clinical trials going forward.
Background and objectives: To investigate the feasibility and safety of ultrasound-guided totally implantable venous access ports (TIVAPs) via the right brachiocephalic vein (BCV) in pediatric patients. Methods: A single institutional retrospective review was performed on 35 pediatric patients with hematological malignancies who underwent TIVAPs implantation via ultrasound-guided right BCV approach from July 2018 to June 2021. Technical success rate, procedural information and TIVAP related complications were evaluated. Results: All the pediatric TIVAP devices were successfully implanted via right BCV access. Venous access was successful by first attempt in 32 children (91.42%); two cases (5.71%) required a second attempt; one patient (2.86%) required a third attempt. The mean procedural time was 44.63 ± 6.41 mins (range, 34-62 mins). No intraoperative complications occurred. The average TIVAP indwelling time was 563.51 ± 208.47 days (range, 193-1014 days) with a cumulative 19,723 catheter-days. The incidence of postoperative complications was 11.43% (4/35), corresponding to a rate of 0.20 complications per 1000 catheter-days. Two cases of local hematoma and two catheter dysfunctions occurred in three patients. No other complications such as wound dehiscence, delayed incision healing, catheter-related thrombosis (CRT), catheter malposition/fracture, surgical site infection, catheter-related bloodstream infection (CRBSI), pinch-off syndrome and drug extravasation were observed during follow-up. Conclusions: Ultrasound-guided right BCV access for TIVAPs placement in pediatric patients appears to be technically feasible, safe and effective. Further large-sample, prospective studies are warranted.
Background: Flow artifact, intrinsic to Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA), is dependent on technical parameters and can lead to overinterpretation of stenosis. Degree of cerebrovascular stenosis in pediatric patients with sickle cell anemia (SCA) informs need for chronic transfusion therapy, which may have significant risks. The primary objective of this study was to document any change in stroke prevention therapy that could be attributed to the implementation of a standardized MRA scanning protocol. Procedure: A standardized MRA scanning protocol with an echo time of <5 msec was implemented at Montefiore Medical Center in May 2016. Retrospective chart review identified 29 patients ≤ 21 years with SCA cerebral vasculopathy and an MRA head pre- and post-May 2016. Level of arterial stenosis on MRA, echo time, and treatment plans were documented both pre- and post-implementation. McNemar analysis determined the significance of change in treatment plans before and after implementation of the standardized scanning protocol. Results: Previously seen stenosis was re-classified to a lower degree in 12/29 patients (41%). Notably, 6 patients had a reclassification of vasculopathy leading to discontinuation of chronic transfusion therapy whereas 0 patients required escalation of therapy to chronic transfusions. McNemar analysis showed this difference to be statistically significant (p = 0.042). Conclusion: Minimizing flow artifact with echo time <5msec improves accurate interpretation of true cerebrovascular disease and ensures appropriate treatment plans are in place for stroke prevention. This is especially important when trying to implement “TCD With Transfusions Changing to Hydroxyurea (TWiTCH)” clinical trial results in the real-world setting.