Box 8.1 Past, Current, and Planned Research Activities of COG’s Late Effects Committee

Past studies: 8 publications on second malignant neoplasms, neuropsychological, cardiac and other health-related outcomes (cancers studied included acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), Wilms tumor, Rhabdomyosarcoma, osteosarcoma, Ewing’s sarcoma)

Current studies:

  • Validation of a Quality of Life (QOL) tool for cancer survivors

  • QOL and neuropsychological impairment after intracranial gliomas

  • QOL after acute myelogenous leukemia (AML)

  • QOL after neuroblastoma

  • National Wilms Tumor Study Late Effects study

  • Reproductive endocrine function after osteosarcoma

  • Second malignant neoplasms after childhood cancer

  • Clinical biological predictors of therapy related acute myeloidleukemia/myelodysplasia (t-AML/MDS).

Proposed studies:

  • Neurocognitive and QOL assessment

  • Gene-environment interaction

  • Late mortality after childhood cancer

SOURCE: Bhatia, 2002.

system for all patients entering COG studies at member institutions. Member institutions report each individual diagnosed with cancer who is seen at the institutions to the COG Research Data Center Registry of New Malignancies in Children and Adolescents (Children’s Oncology Group, 2001). Patient responses to therapy are centrally collected, monitored, and analyzed. With these mechanisms in place, patients treated within COG institutions could potentially be followed prospectively and their outcomes linked to their primary treatments.

For research encompassing extended intervals from the original cancer diagnosis (e.g., two or more decades), well-designed cohort studies are needed. Organized consortia have been able to successfully address selected topics relating to childhood cancer survivorship. The Late Effects Study Group (LESG), an international consortium of institutions, has provided important insights into the risk of second malignancies, particularly among Hodgkin’s disease survivors (Bhatia et al., 1996).

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