September 28, 2017
Thank You (Twice) Jimmy Kimmel!
During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Jimmy Kimmel and his family donated an auction item that raised $200,000 for childhood cancer research. In addition, he used his status to publicly discuss some of the elements of the proposed Senate healthcare bill that would affect insurance for children with preexisting conditions. That group includes all kids being treated for cancer (40,000) and all survivors of childhood cancer (almost 500,000). Thank you twice Jimmy Kimmel!
Influenza (flu) is a serious disease that causes hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of thousands of deaths in the United States each year. Children on treatment and their family members should get a flu shot. For info from the CDC, click here. However, parents of children on treatment and survivors of childhood cancer should check with their oncologist first because caution is needed for people who took immunotherapy drugs or certain types of antibodies. Cancer.net covers these issues in this short article.
Rocket Scientist Mom Moves Osteosarcoma Research Forward
Theresa Beech was a space engineer (“rocket scientist”) when her son Daniel was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a cancer of the bone that usually is diagnosed in teenagers. During his treatment, she started doing research on osteosarcoma genetics and was able to identify two drugs that corresponded to mutations in his tumor and prolonged his life. Her beloved son (“the toughest, bravest, smiley-est person”) died in 2016. Because of Daniel, she continues her efforts to find better treatments through research and development of the largest IRB-approved osteosarcoma registry in the world. Visit this link to read more about this remarkable woman and her son, Daniel.
Good News in the Fight Against Neuroblastoma
Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that affects the nervous system of infants and young children. Researchers have identified a new target for immunotherapy drugs that could prevent tumor cells from multiplying and spreading. As this potential treatment moves from the lab to the clinic, we hope it helps cure children with neuroblastoma with less toxicity than current treatments. Read about this new research.
Follow-up Guidelines for Survivors
In an ideal world, all survivors of childhood cancer would be seen every year at a comprehensive survivorship clinic. But, because of distance or cost, the majority of survivors don’t get that level of care. So, check out COG’s survivorship guidelines. If you aren’t followed by an expert in survivorship, make sure your primary care doctor knows about and follows these guidelines.