8 Updates in the Childhood Cancer Space From 2022 You May Have Missed

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, CURE® compiled a roundup of some of the top stories involving the latest updates in the pediatric cancer space that patients and their families may have missed.

Each year, pediatric cancer organizations around the world recognize September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Everyone is encouraged to “Go Gold” during the month to honor children who were affected by cancer. The goal of the Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, according to several nonprofit organizations, is to increase awareness around pediatric cancer and raise funds for research.

Pediatric cancer can devastate families and communities and can be extremely difficult for children to process and go through.

This year, CURE® extensively reported on some of the latest treatment updates in treatments for pediatric cancer. Additionally, several stories highlight the future health risks of childhood cancer survivors compared with the general population. This Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, catch up on the unique concerns faced by childhood cancer survivors and read up on the latest Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals for treatment of pediatric cancer.

Unmet Needs in Pediatric Cancer

Hispanic Children With Neuroblastoma Have Poorer Trial Outcomes: Describing Disparities Is ‘Simply Not Enough’. Children with high-risk neuroblastoma — a type of cancer that typically affects young children — who are being treated on a clinical trial tend to have poorer outcomes if they are non-White Hispanic or on public insurance, according to an analysis of data from multiple Children’s Oncology Group (COG) trials.

Adherence to Follow-up Care in Childhood Cancer Survivors Continues to be Subpar, Highlighting Need for More Resources to Increase Engagement. Childhood cancer survivors lack the proper education needed to highlight the importance of attending follow-up appointments in the years following their treatment, according to findings recently published in ONCOLOGY. This study found that out of 30 survey respondents, 53% reported that they had not received cancer-related follow-up care with a health care provider during their survivorship years.

Childhood Cancer Survivors Are at an Increased Risk for Hospitalization Due to Infection Several Years After Treatment Has Ended. Childhood cancer survivors have a significantly increased risk of being hospitalized with an infection years after their treatment has ended, compared with those without a cancer history according to study findings recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Awareness of Risk for Heart Disease May Mitigate Underdiagnosis in Childhood Cancer Survivors. Childhood cancer survivors may be at a higher risk of developing heart disease because of previously received cancer treatment. However, the risks posed, such as high cholesterol, hypertension, high blood pressure and more, are often underdiagnosed and undertreated, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Recent Updates in Pediatric Cancer Treatment

FDA Approves Vidaza for Rare Pediatric Blood Cancer. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Vidaza (azacytidine) for the treatment of pediatric patients with newly diagnosed juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, a rare blood cancer where certain types of white blood cells do not mature normally.

FDA Will Expedite Review of Omblastys to Treat Metastatic, Pediatric Neuroblastoma. Over the summer, the FDA granted Omblastys (omburtamab) a priority review for a Biologics License Application for the treatment of children with central nervous system or leptomeningeal metastasis (disease that spread to the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spin cord) from neuroblastoma, a very rare cancer in and around the adrenal glands. The FDA plans on making an approval decision for Omblastys by Nov. 30, 2022.

FDA Approves Tafinlar Plus Mekinist for Patients With BRAF V600-Mutant Solid Cancers. In June, the FDA approved the combination of Tafinlar (dabrafenib) and Mekinist (trametinib) for the treatment of patients over the age of 6 with unresectable or metastatic solid tumors that harbor a BRAF V600E mutation who experienced disease progression and have no other satisfactory treatment options.

FDA Approves Imbruvica for Potentially Serious Complication in Children With Cancer. Recently, the FDA approved Imbruvica (ibrutinib) for the treatment of children aged 1 year or older with chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) after one or more lines of systemic therapy. The drug may be administered via capsules, tablets or oral suspension.

Be sure to check out CURE®’s childhood cancers page to stay updated on the latest news in the pediatric cancer space.

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