[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Children with and after cancer are found to have a decreased physical fitness, frequently resulting in decreased physical functioning. The gold standard test for assessing aerobic fitness, a component of physical fitness, is the respiratory gas analyses--based cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET). However, equipment for gas analysis is often unavailable in local physical therapy centres and non--university hospitals. The Steep Ramp Test (SRT), is a cycle ergometer test with a fast increase in workload, a short duration, and does not require respiratory gas analysis equipment.
The aim of this study was to compare the results of the CPET and the SRT, in children with cancer, and to assess whether the SRT can be used for aerobic fitness assessment in clinical practice in this population.
This study is a cross--sectional assessment using baseline data of a randomized controlled trial.
The study was performed in a hospital setting.
Sixty--one children (mean age 12.9 years; 33 boys) with cancer were included in the analysis; 16 children were on non--intensive chemotherapy treatment, 45 were in the first year thereafter.
Participants performed both the SRT and the CPET on a cycle ergometer with respiratory gas analysis. Data of the two tests were compared and regression analyses were performed.
CPET test results revealed a higher impact on the cardiovascular system, as shown by higher peak ventilation (47.8 versus 52.0 Litres per min) and peak heart rates (173 versus 191 beats per min), compared to the SRT. In addition, the test time was significantly longer (90 s versus 390 s). Yet, the primary outcome of the SRT (peak work rate) was able to reliably estimate the peak oxygen uptake of the CPET.
The peak oxygen uptake was comparable between the SRT and the CPET, although the peak work rate was significantly higher during the SRT. This study showed that the SRT is a valid instrument to assess aerobic fitness in children with cancer.
The SRT is less time consuming and can be performed without gas analysis in a non--clinical setting, making it less demanding for children.
European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine. 11/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our study explores socioeconomic, treatment-related, and psychological experiences of parents during cancer treatment of their children at an academic hospital in Kenya.
Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer. 10/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic delivery of therapeutic agents remains ineffective against diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), possibly due to an intact blood-brain-barrier (BBB) and to dose-limiting toxicity of systemic chemotherapeutic agents. Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) into the brainstem may provide an effective local delivery alternative for DIPG patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is rare in both adult and pediatric populations. Literature suggests significant differences between children and adults in presentation, histological properties and outcome. The aim of this first nationwide study on pediatric ACC was to describe the incidence, presentation, pathological characteristics, treatment and survival in The Netherlands. All ACC patients aged <20 years at diagnosis and registered in the population-based Netherlands Cancer Registry between 1993 and 2010 were included. Clinical data were extracted from medical records. Archival histological slides were collected via the Dutch Pathology Registry (PALGA). We compared our findings to all clinical studies on pediatric ACC that were found on PubMed. Based on the results, 12 patients were identified: 8 females and 4 males. The median age was 4.1 years (range 1.1-18.6). The population-based age-standardized incidence rate for patients <20 years was 0.18 per million person-years. Autonomous hormonal secretion was present in 10 patients. Seven patients were aged ≤4 years at diagnosis, 5 presented with localized disease and 2 with locally advanced disease. Five patients were aged ≥5 years, 3 presented with distant metastases and 1 with locally advanced disease. For all patients, histological examination displayed malignant characteristics. All patients aged ≤4 years at diagnosis survived; the median follow-up was 97 months (57-179 months). All patients aged ≥5 years died; the median survival was 6 months (0-38 months). Pediatric ACC is extremely rare in the Western world. The clinical outcome was remarkably better in patients aged ≤4 years. This is in accordance with less advanced stage of disease at presentation, yet contrasts with the presence of adverse histological characteristics. Clinical management in advanced disease is adapted from adult practice in the absence of evidence regarding pediatric ACC.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Improvement in survival of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) has increased the attention to quality of life (QoL) . QoL is impaired during maintenance treatment, but little is known about QoL during induction therapy. Identification of patients with poor QoL during induction will provide opportunities for early interventions, and may subsequently improve future QoL. This national multi-center study aimed to assess QoL and its determinants during ALL induction treatment.
Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer. 07/2014;
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Outcome for relapsed paediatric acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) remains poor. Strong prognostic factors at first relapse are lacking, which hampers optimization of therapy. We assessed the frequency of molecular aberrations (FLT3, NRAS, KRAS, KIT, WT1 and NPM1 genes) at first relapse in a large set (n = 198) of relapsed non-French-American-British M3, non-Down syndrome AML patients that received similar relapse treatment. We correlated molecular aberrations with clinical and biological factors and studied their prognostic relevance. Hotspot mutations in the analysed genes were detected in 92 out of 198 patients (46·5%). In 72 of these 92 patients (78%), molecular aberrations were mutually exclusive for the currently analysed genes. FLT3-internal tandem repeat (ITD) (18% of total group) mutations were most frequent, followed by NRAS (10·2%), KRAS (8%), WT1 (8%), KIT (8%), NPM1 (5%) and FLT3-tyrosine kinase domain (3%) mutations. Presence of a WT1 aberration was an independent risk factor for second relapse (Hazard Ratio [HR] = 2·74, P = 0·013). In patients who achieved second complete remission (70·2%), WT1 and FLT3-ITD aberrations were independent risk factors for poor overall survival (HR = 2·32, P = 0·038 and HR = 1·89, P = 0·045 respectively). These data show that molecular aberrations at first relapse are of prognostic relevance and potentially useful for risk group stratification of paediatric relapsed AML and for identification of patients eligible for personalized treatment.
British Journal of Haematology 06/2014; · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) carries the worst prognosis of all pediatric brain tumors, studies on prognostic factors in DIPG are sparse. To control for confounding variables in DIPG studies, which generally include relatively small patient numbers, a survival prediction tool is needed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Chemotherapy and radiotherapy for childhood cancer can result in a decreased reproductive function. It is therefore important that paediatric oncologists discuss the possible impact of treatment on female fertility and available fertility preservation options with their patients. However, it is unknown what Dutch paediatric oncologists know about of the effect of cancer treatment on female fertility, whether or not they address this issue in clinical practice, what their attitudes are towards addressing fertility after cancer treatment and fertility preservation options, and to what extent they require additional information resources. Methods: In this nationwide quantitative cross-sectional study a survey was sent to all registered paediatric oncologists in the Netherlands (n=64). Results: Thirty-seven paediatric oncologists participated (participation rate 58%). Fertility issues were discussed with patients and÷or parents by 97%. Of the paediatric oncologists, 54-76% were aware of possibilities for fertility preservation; however only.
The Netherlands Journal of Medicine 06/2014; 72(5):264-70. · 2.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prognosis of paediatric acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) has improved significantly over the recent decades, but still about one-third of patients relapse. These patients have a relatively poor prognosis, with a probability of long-term survival from relapse of about 35%. This can only be achieved with very intensive chemotherapy and, usually, allogeneic stem cell transplantation, leading to very significant toxicity and even treatment-related mortality. Major improvements in the treatment of paediatric relapsed AML thus are required still, and several possibilities are discussed. In case of a suspected relapse, a comprehensive diagnostic work-up has to be undertaken, because significant changes in the biological features of the AML cells may have occurred between initial diagnosis and relapse. This review discusses many practical issues that one encounters in the treatment of children with relapsed AML. It will also be of interest for those involved in translational research in AML.
British Journal of Haematology 05/2014; · 4.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Efficacy of childhood cancer treatment in low-income countries may be impacted by parents' and health-care providers' perspectives on chemotherapy-related side-effects. This study explores prevalence and severity of side-effects in childhood cancer, and compares health beliefs about side-effects between parents and health-care providers, and between nurses and doctors in Indonesia. Materials and Methods: Semi-structured questionnaires were filled in by 40 parents and 207 health-care providers in an academic hospital. Results: Parents exporessed a desire to receive more information about side-effects (98%) and worried about this aspect of treatment (90%), although side-effects were less severe than expected (66%). The most frequent was behavior alteration (98%) and the most severe was hair loss. Only 26% of parents consulted doctors about side-effects. More parents, compared to health-care providers, believed that medicines work better when side-effects are more severe (p<0.001), and accepted severe side-effects (p=0.021). More health-care providers, compared to parents, believed that chemotherapy can be stopped or the dosage altered when there are side-effects (p=0.011). More nurses, compared to doctors, stated that side-effects were unbearable (p=0.004) and made them doubt efficacy of treatment (p<0.001). Conclusions: Behavior alteration is the most frequent and hair loss the most severe side-effect. Apparent discrepancies in health beliefs about side-effects exist between parents and health-care providers. A sustainable parental education program about side-effects is recommended. Health-care providers need to update and improve their knowledge and communication skills in order to give appropriate information. Suchmeasures may improve outcome of childhood cancer treatment in low-income countries, where adherence to therapy is a major issue.
Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention: APJCP 04/2014; 15(8):3593-9. · 1.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), with a median survival of only 9 months, is the leading cause of pediatric brain cancer mortality. Dearth of tumor tissue for research has limited progress in this disease until recently. New experimental models for DIPG research are now emerging. To develop preclinical models of DIPG, two different methods were adopted: cells obtained at autopsy (1) were directly xenografted orthotopically into the pons of immunodeficient mice without an intervening cell culture step or (2) were first cultured in vitro and, upon successful expansion, injected in vivo. Both strategies resulted in pontine tumors histopathologically similar to the original human DIPG tumors. However, following the direct transplantation method all tumors proved to be composed of murine and not of human cells. This is in contrast to the indirect method that included initial in vitro culture and resulted in xenografts comprising human cells. Of note, direct injection of cells obtained postmortem from the pons and frontal lobe of human brains not affected by cancer did not give rise to neoplasms. The murine pontine tumors exhibited an immunophenotype similar to human DIPG, but were also positive for microglia/macrophage markers, such as CD45, CD68 and CD11b. Serial orthotopic injection of these murine cells results in lethal tumors in recipient mice. Direct injection of human DIPG cells in vivo can give rise to malignant murine tumors. This represents an important caveat for xenotransplantation models of DIPG. In contrast, an initial in vitro culture step can allow establishment of human orthotopic xenografts. The mechanism underlying this phenomenon observed with direct xenotransplantation remains an open question.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salinosporamide A (NPI-0052, marizomib) is a naturally-occurring proteasome inhibitor derived from the marine actinobacterium Salinispora tropica and represents a promising clinical agent in the treatment of hematologic malignancies. Recently, these actinobacteria were shown to harbor self-resistance properties to salinosporamide A by expressing redundant catalytically-active mutants of the 20S proteasome β-subunit, reminiscent of PSMB5 mutations identified in cancer cells with acquired resistance to the founding proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib. Here, we assessed the growth inhibitory potential of salinosporamide A in human acute lymphocytic leukemia CCRF-CEM cells, and its 10-fold (CEM/BTZ7), and 123-fold (CEM/BTZ200) bortezomib-resistant sublines harboring PSMB5 mutations. Parental cells displayed sensitivity to salinosporamide A (IC50= 5.1 nM), whereas their bortezomib-resistant sublines were 9- and 17-fold cross-resistant to salinosporamide A, respectively. Notably, combination experiments of salinosporamide A and bortezomib showed synergistic activity in CEM/BTZ200 cells. CEM cells gradually exposed to 20 nM salinosporamide A (CEM/S20) displayed stable 5-fold acquired resistance to salinosporamide A and were 3-fold cross-resistant to bortezomib. Consistent with the acquisition of a PSMB5 point mutation (Met45Val) in CEM/S20 cells, salinosporamide A displayed a markedly impaired capacity to inhibit β5-associated catalytic activity. Lastly, compared to parental CEM cells, CEM/S20 cells exhibited up to 2.5-fold upregulation of constitutive proteasome subunits, while retaining unaltered immunoproteasome subunit expression. In conclusion, salinosporamide A displayed potent antileukemic activity against bortezomib-resistant leukemia cells. β-subunit point mutations as a common feature of acquired resistance to salinosporamide A and bortezomib in hematologic cells and Salinispora tropica suggest an evolutionarily conserved mechanism of resistance to proteasome inhibitors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is treated with combination chemotherapy including mercaptopurine (6MP) as an important component. Upon its uptake, 6MP undergoes a complex metabolism involving many enzymes and active products. The prognostic value of all the factors engaged in this pathway still remains unclear. This study attempted to determine which components of 6MP metabolism in leukemic blasts and red blood cells are important for 6MP's sensitivity and toxicity. In addition, changes in the enzymatic activities and metabolite levels during the treatment were analyzed. In a cohort (N = 236) of pediatric ALL patients enrolled in the Dutch ALL-9 protocol, we studied the enzymes inosine-5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH), thiopurine S-methyltransferase (TPMT), hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGPRT), and purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) as well as thioguanine nucleotides (TGN) and methylthioinosine nucleotides (meTINs). Activities of selected enzymes and levels of 6MP derivatives were measured at various time points during the course of therapy. The data obtained and the toxicity related parameters available for these patients were correlated with each other. We found several interesting relations, including high concentrations of two active forms of 6MP-TGN and meTIN-showing a trend toward association with better in vitro antileukemic effect of 6MP. High concentrations of TGN and elevated activity of HGPRT were found to be significantly associated with grade III/IV leucopenia. However, a lot of data of enzymatic activities and metabolite concentrations as well as clinical toxicity were missing, thereby limiting the number of assessed relations. Therefore, although a complex study of 6MP metabolism in ALL patients is feasible, it warrants more robust and strict data collection in order to be able to draw more reliable conclusions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The most important reason for childhood cancer treatment failure in low-income countries is treatment abandonment.
The aim of this study was to explore reasons for childhood cancer treatment abandonment and assess the clinical condition of these children.
This was a descriptive study using semistructured questionnaires. Home visits were conducted to interview families of childhood cancer patients, diagnosed between January 2007 and January 2009, who had abandoned treatment at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH).
Between January 2007 and January 2009, 222 children were newly diagnosed with a malignancy at MTRH. Treatment outcome was documented in 180 patients. Of these 180 patients, 98 (54%) children abandoned treatment. From December 2011 until August 2012, 53 (54%) of the 98 families were contacted. Due to lack of contact information, 45 families were untraceable. From 53 contacted families, 46 (87%) families agreed to be interviewed. Reasons for abandonment were reported by 26 families, and they were diverse. Most common reasons were financial difficulties (46%), inadequate access to health insurance (27%) and transportation difficulties (23%). Most patients (72%) abandoned treatment after the first 3 months had been completed. Of the 46 children who abandoned treatment, 9 (20%) were still alive: 6 (67%) of these children looked healthy and 3 (33%) ill. The remaining 37 (80%) children had passed away.
Prevention of childhood cancer treatment abandonment requires improved access to health insurance, financial or transportation support, proper parental education, psychosocial guidance and ameliorated communication skills of healthcare providers.
Archives of Disease in Childhood 03/2014; · 3.05 Impact Factor