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Friedrich P.,Dana Farber Childrens Hospital Cancer Center | Ortiz R.,La Mascota Childrens Hospital | Strait K.,Dana Farber Childrens Hospital Cancer Center | Fuentes S.,Benjamin Bloom National Childrens Hospital | And 7 more authors.
Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: Children with cancer in middle-income countries have inferior outcomes compared with similar children in high-income countries. The magnitude and drivers of this survival gap are not well understood. In the current report, the authors sought to describe patterns of clinical presentation, magnitude of treatment abandonment, and survival in children with sarcoma in Central America. METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted of hospital-based registries from national pediatric oncology referral centers. Patients with newly diagnosed osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), and soft tissue sarcoma (STS) between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2009 were included. Survival analyses were performed first using standard definitions of overall survival (OS) and event-free survival (EFS) and then with abandonment included as an event (abandonment-sensitive OS and abandonment-sensitive EFS). RESULTS: In total, 785 new cases of pediatric sarcoma were reported (264 diagnoses of osteosarcoma, 175 diagnoses of Ewing sarcoma, 240 diagnoses of RMS, and 106 diagnoses of STS). The rate of metastatic disease at presentation was high (osteosarcoma, 38%; Ewing sarcoma, 39%; RMS, 29%; and STS, 21%). The treatment abandonment rate also was high, particularly among patients with extremity bone sarcomas (osteosarcoma, 30%; Ewing sarcoma, 15%; RMS, 25%; and STS, 15%). Of 559 patients who experienced a first event, 59% had either recurrent or progressive disease. The 4-year OS rate (±standard error) was 40% ± 3%, and the EFS rate was 30% ± 2%; however, these rates decreased further to 31% ± 2% and 24% ± 2%, respectively, when abandonment was taken into account. CONCLUSIONS: The current results indicated that high rates of metastases and treatment abandonment and difficulty with upfront treatment effectiveness are important contributors to the poor survival of children with pediatric sarcomas in Central America. Initiatives for early diagnosis, psychosocial support, quality improvement, and multidisciplinary care are warranted to improve outcomes. © 2012 American Cancer Society.

Sala A.,University of Milan Bicocca | Rossi E.,University of Milan Bicocca | Antillon F.,National Unit of Pediatric Oncology | Molina A.L.,National Unit of Pediatric Oncology | And 11 more authors.
European Journal of Cancer | Year: 2012

Background: The prevalence of malnutrition in children may exceed 50% in countries with limited resources. The aims of this study were to assess nutritional status at diagnosis in children and adolescents with cancer, and to correlate it with clinical outcomes in the Spanish speaking countries of Central America that formed the AHOPCA (Asociacion de Hemato-Oncologia Pediatrica de Centro America) consortium. Methods: Patients aged 1-18 years, diagnosed with cancer between 1st October 2004 and 30th September 2007, were eligible for study. Weight (kg) and height or length (m), mid upper arm circumference - MUAC and triceps skin fold thickness - TSFT were measured and their Z-scores or percentiles were calculated. Three categories of nutritional status were defined according to these parameters. Results: A total of 2954 new patients were enrolled; 1787 had all anthropometric measurements performed and 1513 also had measurements of serum albumin. By arm anthropometry 322/1787 patients (18%) had moderate nutritional depletion and 813/1787 patients (45%) were severely depleted. Adding serum albumin, the proportion classified as severely depleted rose to 59%. Malnourished children more often abandoned therapy and their event free survival was inferior to that of other children. Conclusions: Arm anthropometry in children with cancer is a sensitive measure of nutritional status. Since malnutrition at diagnosis was related to important clinical outcomes, an opportunity exists to devise simple, cost-effective nutritional interventions in such children that may enhance their prospects for survival. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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