Childhood Cancer Research in Danger
Synopsis: Long-term funding and better collaboration are needed to maintain improvement in the cancer survival rate. The authors looked at the citation impact of pediatric oncology papers and found that childhood cancer research is a poor relation; unlike cancer papers in general, pediatric oncology papers received fewer citations than the average for the journals in which they were published. The authors also found significant differences in the provision of information on childhood cancer, with variations in the involvement of parental organizations, the use of digital media, and the adoption of a common national standard for information provision.
- Childhood Cancer
- Childhood cancer, also called pediatric cancer, is a term used to describe cancers between birth and 14 years of age. Childhood cancers are sporadic and may differ from adult cancers in growing, spreading, and responding to treatment. The most common types of childhood cancer are leukemia, brain, and spinal cord tumors, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor (a type of kidney cancer), retinoblastoma, and cancers of the bone and soft tissue.
At a time when the effects of pediatric oncology research have meant that more and more children survive cancer, its funding is too low and dependent on short-term grants to be able to sustain this improvement in the long-term, says a report supported by the EU-funded 7th Framework Program project Eurocancercoms and published on-line in ecancer today*. The authors also looked at the citation impact of pediatric oncology papers and found that childhood cancer research is a poor relation; unlike cancer papers in general, pediatric oncology papers received fewer citations than the average for the journals in which they were published.
"Working in this discouraging environment makes the achievements of childhood cancer research all the more praiseworthy," said Professor Richard Sullivan from the Center for Global OncoPolicy, London, UK, and one of the authors of the report. "About 80% of all childhood cancer patients now survive due to massive improvements in diagnosis and treatment over forty years."
'The State of Research into Children with Cancer across Europe - New Policies for a New Decade' is published by the European Society for Pediatric Oncology (SIOPE) and the Center for Global OncoPolicy. The report was presented at a special event in the European Parliament to mark International Childhood Cancer Awareness Day to a wide range of EU policymakers as well as young cancer patients and parents. The authors set out to look at the current state of pediatric oncology research in Europe.
They found that countries with a larger oncology burden, such as those in Eastern Europe, tended not to collaborate in research with those with a better-developed research structure, and this, in turn, affected the care they were able to give young patients.
"Pediatric oncologists from ten countries were asked about their national situations, and the differences were striking," said Professor Kathy Pritchard-Jones, Cancer Program Director at the UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK, and Past President of SIOPE. "For example, a respondent from Bosnia-Herzegovina cited lack of hospital space, no specialist pediatric oncology radiologists, and inadequate diagnostic facilities, with everything adapted to adult patients. The Czech Republic said that research grants were usually for only three years. There was little support for young scientists to attend international courses and congresses that could help harmonize the level of knowledge across European states."
In Italy, the fragmentation of childhood cancer care concerned doctors, with nearly 50 centers specializing in pediatric hematology and oncology and a lack of coordination between research laboratories and clinics. Sweden has only six pediatric oncology units that work closely together, but there are problems with funding and a lack of experienced staff. The UK expressed concern about the effects of health service cuts on children's cancer care and the fact that infrastructure changes had moved pediatrics alongside the adult cancer model, meaning that research for children now has to compete for funds at a much more visible level with research for adults.
The authors also found large differences in the provision of information on childhood cancer, with variations in the involvement of parental organizations, the use of digital media, and the adoption of a common national standard for information provision.
"When a child is sick, the provision of accurate information to the patient and family is essential" said Professor Sullivan. "We believe that establishing a European Common Information Portal could tackle major deficiencies in information in countries with few or no patient organizations, or where the existence of a large number of languages makes access to such information difficult."
The authors call for adequate long-term EU funding to support a Europe-wide clinical trials network for pediatric oncology.
"This is an essential prerequisite for the effective testing and dissemination of new therapies and techniques", said Professor Pritchard-Jones. "We also need to study treatment outcomes, and for this, creating a European Childhood Cancer Epidemiological Registry is essential. With these tools, we can maintain the enormous progress that has been made in the past. Without them, we risk jeopardizing that progress and failing children dependent on us for their survival."
*Sullivan R, Pritchard-Jones K, Camporesi S, Lewison G, Vassal G, Ladenstein R, et al. (2011) The state of research into children with cancer across Europe: new policies for a new decade ecancer Vol 5 doi: 10.3332/ecancer.2011.210
This quality-reviewed article relating to our Treatment of Cancer section was selected for publishing by the editors of Disabled World due to its likely interest to our disability community readers. Though the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or length, the article "Childhood Cancer Research in Danger" was originally written by European Cancer Organization (ECCO), and published by Disabled-World.com on 2011/02/09 (Updated: 2022/06/08). Should you require further information or clarification, European Cancer Organization (ECCO) can be contacted at europeancancer.org. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith.
Discover Related Topics ▶ Page Information, Citing and Disclaimer Disabled World is an independent disability community founded in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative reviews, exclusive stories and how-tos. You can connect with us on social media such as X.com and our Facebook page. Permalink: <a href="https://www.disabled-world.com/health/cancer/treatment/danger.php">Childhood Cancer Research in Danger</a> Cite This Page (APA): European Cancer Organization (ECCO). (2011, February 9). Childhood Cancer Research in Danger. Disabled World. Retrieved November 28, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/health/cancer/treatment/danger.php
Share This Information To:
𝕏.com Facebook Reddit
Page Information, Citing and Disclaimer
Permalink: <a href="https://www.disabled-world.com/health/cancer/treatment/danger.php">Childhood Cancer Research in Danger</a>
Cite This Page (APA): European Cancer Organization (ECCO). (2011, February 9). Childhood Cancer Research in Danger. Disabled World. Retrieved November 28, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/health/cancer/treatment/danger.php
Disabled World provides general information only. Materials presented are never meant to substitute for qualified professional medical care. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.