[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: To investigate school absenteeism among childhood cancer survivors and their siblings and examine factors related to absenteeism in survivors. STUDY DESIGN: A cross-sectional study was conducted among consecutive cancer survivors attending a large pediatric cancer survivor clinic. Absenteeism rates were obtained for survivors and their closest in age sibling from school report cards. Absenteeism was compared with a population control group of 167 752 students using 1-sample t tests. The Child Vulnerability Scale, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory, and Behavior Assessment System for Children were administered to survivors. Univariate and multiple regression analyses assessed variables associated with days absent. RESULTS: One hundred thirty-one survivors (median age at assessment: 13.4 years, range 8.0-19.2; median age at diagnosis: 9.4 years, range 4.3-17.3) and 77 siblings (median age at assessment: 13 years, age range 7-18) participated. Survivors and siblings missed significantly more school days than the population control group (mean ± SD: 9.6 ± 9.2 and 9.9 ± 9.8 vs 5.0 ± 5.6 days, respectively, P < .0001). Among matched survivor-sibling pairs (N = 77), there was no difference in absenteeism (9.6 ± 9.2 vs 9.9 ± 9.8 days, P = .85). Absenteeism in survivors was significantly associated with a low Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Physical Health Summary Score (P = .01). Parents' perception of their child's vulnerability and emotional and social functioning were not associated with absenteeism. CONCLUSIONS: Childhood cancer survivors and siblings miss more school than the general population. The only predictor of absenteeism in survivors is poor physical quality of health. More research should be devoted to school attendance and other outcomes in siblings of childhood cancer survivors.
Journal of Pediatrics 01/2013; 162(1):160-5. · 4.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infants with stage 4 and 4S neuroblastoma (NB) have a superior prognosis to older children. However, they often require intensive therapy including abdominal radiation. We aimed to investigate the long-term hepatic outcomes in infants with stage 4S and 4 NB.
We reviewed the charts of 38 infants diagnosed with stage 4S and 4 NB between 1984 and 2002. We included only those with available follow-up 5 years following diagnosis. We assessed hepatic imaging and function (transaminases, bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase) at all available time points from diagnosis. Abnormalities present at more than 5 years from diagnosis were considered persistent late changes.
We identified 15 stage 4S and 12 stage 4 patients. Twelve of 15 stage 4S patients had hepatic involvement at diagnosis, 8 of whom required abdominal radiation. Five of eight demonstrated late imaging changes. Two of four with hepatic metastases but no radiation demonstrated late imaging changes. The late imaging changes resolved over time and without intervention in 3/7 survivors. The persistent lesions included liver fibrosis (1) and focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) (3). Five of 12 stage 4 NB patients had hepatic involvement at diagnosis; none required radiation or had late hepatic imaging changes.
In stage 4S NB, adverse hepatic effects are infrequent, may resolve over time, and occur with or without radiation. FNH should be considered in those with persistent late imaging changes. Adverse hepatic outcomes after liver involvement or radiation in infants with stage 4 NB rarely occur.
Pediatric Blood & Cancer 03/2011; 58(2):283-8. · 2.35 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A case of unusual reactions consisting of involuntary abnormal facial movements in a child following exposure to the 5-HT3 receptor antagonists for prophylaxis against chemotherapy-induced vomiting is presented. Potential mechanisms for these reactions are discussed.
The Canadian journal of clinical pharmacology = Journal canadien de pharmacologie clinique 01/2010; 17(1):e1-4.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: QUESTION: Several of my female patients take bisphosphonates for low bone mineral density (BMD). Two of them are of reproductive age. Are these drugs safe during pregnancy? ANSWER: Very little is currently known about the effects of bisphosphonates on human pregnancy. There have been only two reports of bisphosphonate use during late pregnancy. Animal studies suggest that biphosphonates cross the placenta and that the effect is an extension of the expected pharmacologic effect of bisphosphonates on both fetus and mother. Risks and benefits should be carefully weighed.
Canadian family physician Médecin de famille canadien 11/2003; 49:1281-2. · 1.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuroblastoma, an embryonic tumor, is the second most common pediatric tumor and is the most prevalent extracranial solid tumor in children. Results of previous studies have suggested that maternal vitamin intake may decrease the risk of several childhood cancers. In January 1997, Canada began fortifying flour with folic acid for the prevention of neural tube defects. The effect of folic acid fortification on the rate of neuroblastoma in offspring is not known.
We investigated the rates of neuroblastoma (<1 year), acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and hepatoblastoma registered by the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, which captures 95% of all pediatric cancers in Ontario, before and after the introduction of folate fortification.
An interventional time series analysis showed that the incidence of neuroblastoma declined from 1.57 cases per 10,000 births before to 0.62 case per 10,000 births after folic acid fortification (P <.0001). The crude incidence rate ratio (0.40; 95% confidence interval, 0.25-0.64) remained significant after adjustment for both age and disease stage at diagnosis (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 0.38; 95% confidence interval, 0.23-0.62). In contrast, there was no significant change in the rate of infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia (incidence rate ratio, 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.41-2.27) or hepatoblastoma (incidence rate ratio, 0.81; 95% confidence interval, 0.35-1.89).
Folic acid fortification was associated with a 60% reduction in neuroblastoma but was not associated with any change in the rate of infant acute lymphoblastic leukemia or hepatoblastoma. Further investigation is needed into the role of metabolism in the formation and prevention of neuroblastoma and other embryonically determined cancers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To report the first case of tacrolimus measurement in human milk following maternal dosing in a woman who breast-fed while taking the medication.
A 32-year-old white woman who had taken tacrolimus 0.1 mg/kg/d throughout pregnancy contacted the Motherisk Program at 35 weeks' gestation inquiring about the safety of breast-feeding during maternal tacrolimus therapy. After benefit-risk assessment, the mother decided to breast-feed the baby.
Manually expressed milk samples were collected over 12 hours following the first tacrolimus dose of the day; pre-dosing and 1-hour post-dosing blood concentrations were also determined. The samples were analyzed for tacrolimus by tandem-mass spectrometry. Breast milk and blood samples were collected at steady-state.
The highest and mean concentrations of tacrolimus in milk were 0.57 and 0.429 ng/mL, respectively. From these measurements, the exclusively breast-fed infant would ingest, on average, 0.06 micro g/kg/d, which corresponds to 0.06% of the mother's weight-adjusted dose. Given the low oral bioavailability of tacrolimus, the maximum amount the baby would receive is 0.02% of the mother's weight-adjusted dose. The milk-to-blood ratios of tacrolimus at pre-dosing and 1-hour post-dosing concentrations were calculated to be 0.08 and 0.09, respectively. At 2.5 months of age, the infant was developing well both physically and neurologically.
This report is the first to measure tacrolimus concentrations in established human milk using tandem-mass spectrometry to detect drug while the infant was exclusively breast-fed by the mother, and in which the infant's growth and development were reported.
Our results suggest that maternal therapy with tacrolimus for liver transplant may be compatible with breast-feeding.
Annals of Pharmacotherapy 07/2003; 37(6):815-8. · 2.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: QUESTION: Several men with psoriatic arthritis have asked whether the methotrexate they take for rheumatoid arthritis will affect their fertility or the outcome of any of their partners' future pregnancies. What is known regarding risks to fertility and to fetuses? ANSWER: To date, there are no reports of adverse pregnancy outcomes among men exposed to methotrexate before conception. Opinions in the literature differ on the effects of methotrexate on male fertility. Several case reports and studies report no effect; others report reversible sterility. One limitation to several of these studies is the concurrent administration of other chemotherapeutic agents. Small studies reporting on methotrexate use with no other agents suggest no increased infertility. Motherisk is currently following men who are taking methotrexate alone for psoriatic arthritis to see whether it affects fertility.
Canadian family physician Médecin de famille canadien 06/2003; 49:577-8. · 1.81 Impact Factor