Pediatric Oncologist at Children’s Hospital Leads Effort to Battle Childhood Cancer Around the World
AURORA, Colorado, Dec. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — More than 1,000 children (aged 0-19 years) worldwide are diagnosed with cancer every day. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. For children who live in high-income countries and have access to excellent health care, the survival rate is over 80%. Unfortunately, the survival rate is only 15 to 45% for most children battling cancer and living in low- and middle-income countries. To address this, the Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer was established in 2018 at the World Health Assembly at the World Health Organization (WHO), which dictated that a way must be found to rectify this inequality and injustice.
This effort is led by Sandra Luna-Fineman, MD, a pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado (Children’s Colorado), who worked with WHO and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to create the CureAll framework, a shared operational approach to the health and well-being of children battling cancer around the world, through the implementation of pediatric cancer services with the right infrastructure and access to life-saving medical strategies. The goal of the initiative is to achieve a global survival rate of at least 60% for children with cancer and to ensure that suffering is reduced for every child by 2030. treatment and supportive care, and evaluation and monitoring of outcomes; supported by advocacy, leveraged financing and linked governance.
“The CureAll framework and technical package is designed to support and strengthen low-income countries’ approach to childhood cancer treatment,” said Dr. Luna-Fineman, who is also an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus. “I am honored to be part of this wonderful group of people who are sharing our knowledge and advancements in pediatric cancer care with institutions around the world so that they too have access to the latest and greatest cancer resources.”
“The CureAll framework and partnerships with the world’s best-known health institutions offer hope to children everywhere battling cancer — regardless of their socioeconomic situation,” said Lia Gore, MD, section chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant-Cellular Therapeutics at Children’s Colorado and professor of pediatrics, medical oncology, and hematology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “The fact that Dr. Luna-Fineman of Children’s Colorado has played a leading and integral role in the making of this program makes us immensely proud and grateful. We are surrounded by people at Children’s Colorado like Dr. Luna-Fineman who work tirelessly to cure childhood cancer around the world.”
dr. Luna-Fineman and WHO first wanted to design a framework for an organized approach to the step-by-step implementation of the key needs of this unique pediatric population. A team of epidemiologists, pediatric oncologists and public health specialists with expertise in health networks, statistics and indicator design have come together to prepare a guide for policy makers in WHO regions and countries. The CureAll framework is supported with tools to:
Evaluate the current state of the country’s capabilities to diagnose, treat and support children with cancer and their families. Praise the infrastructure and interventions required for appropriate care; whereas not all countries will be able to start a full range of healthcare services, but will point the way to better outcomes if the country’s financial capacity allows it. Promote close coordination with other United Nations agencies to help monitor improvements and outcomes and unique expertise in radiation diagnostics and therapies.
The framework builds capacity with the aim of measuring progress through: public health indicators (such as mortality, incidence, nurse-patient ratio, occupancy rate), immediate care (early diagnosis through training of frontline medical and paramedical staff, training of oncology staff and quality improvement), quantification of specific clinical outcomes (survival, toxic mortality, nutritional monitoring, disease relapse), and psychosocial determinants (discontinuation of therapy, toxicity to the social and financial well-being of the family).
Six index cancers in children and adolescents were chosen. Each is curable, involves aspects of biology and multidisciplinary care, and has well-developed therapies readily available. The six cancers are: acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Burkitt’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, retinoblastoma, Wilms tumor, and low-grade glioma.
The CureAll framework is multi-layered and focuses on the broader needs of children with cancer, including their growth, learning, development, nutrition, psychosocial well-being, reproductive health and long-term outcomes. The framework uses an integrated approach to child-centred care with a particular focus on the socioeconomic impact of childhood cancer diagnosis on families.
According to the WHO, the survival rate of a child with cancer is directly dependent on where the child lives, the socioeconomic status of the child’s family and the underlying health system. The majority of childhood cancer deaths can be avoided through a public health approach to cancer control that focuses on access to quality childhood cancer treatments. Twenty-three governments have pledged to strengthen childhood cancer programs using the CureAll framework. More than 110 partner organizations are involved in the initiative, resulting in a rapid expansion to more than 50 countries. This has translated into substantial improvements in the lives of children with cancer around the world.
ABOUT CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL COLORADO
Children’s Hospital Colorado is one of the nation’s leading and most comprehensive nonprofit pediatric health care systems with a mission to improve children’s health through patient care, education, research and advocacy. Founded in 1908 and recognized as a top 10 pediatric hospital by US News & World Report, Children’s Colorado has established itself as a pioneer in the discovery of innovative and groundbreaking treatments that are shaping the future of pediatric healthcare worldwide. Children’s Colorado offers a full spectrum of family-centered care at its urgent, urgent, and specialty care locations throughout Colorado, including a teaching medical center on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, hospitals in Colorado Springs, Highlands Ranch, and Broomfield, and outreach clinics throughout. Colorado. the region. For more information, visit www.childrenscolorado.org or contact us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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Rachael Fowler, Colorado Children’s Hospital
SOURCE Children’s Hospital Colorado