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Lancet Oncology: Long-term side-effects of targeted therapies in pediatric cancer patients
Date:2/7/2013

or 60 years later.

"The message I really want to convey is that our way of treating pediatric cancer has changed entirely in some diseases, and in some it's meant huge progress. A number of us have patients who have literally been cured by these new drugs. There are a lot of really cool therapies out there, but the issue is using them safely. With increased survival, we need to cure kids for 60-70 years. The question is how do we best treat these kids, knowing that cancer remains the enemy but you also don't want to induce complications that negatively affect the rest of their lives," Gore says.

"Personally, one of the most important things when choosing how to treat pediatric patients is to know what I don't know to acknowledge gaps in knowledge. Then as a researcher, we try to fill these gaps so that we can prescribe knowing the balance of risk and reward for these treatments," Porter says.

For now and until these questions are answered, the researchers recommend using molecularly targeted therapies with pediatric patients only in the context of a clinical trial. To Gore, Porter and co-author James DeGregori, PhD, the framework of a clinical trial provides the oversight needed for the rational prescription of these drugs in pediatric patients along with follow-up that includes more definite monitoring of side-effects than what Gore describes as "random use."

"One of the reasons we wrote this paper is that we don't understand the major risks, or even what the major risks might be," Porter says. "These targeted agents may affect the process of development in ways we can't predict."


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Contact: Garth Sundem
garth.sundem@ucdenver.edu
University of Colorado Denver
Source:Eurekalert

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