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Guatemala City, Guatemala

Marjerrison S.,University of Toronto | Antillon F.,National Pediatric Oncology Unit | Fu L.,Pediatric Oncology | Martinez R.,Hospital Mario Catarino Rivas | And 4 more authors.
Cancer | Year: 2013

Background: Outcomes for relapsed childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have not been documented in resource-limited settings. This study examined survival after relapse for children with ALL in Central America. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed and included children with first relapse of ALL in Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador between 1990 and 2011. Predictors of subsequent event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were examined. RESULTS: There were 755 children identified with relapsed disease. The median time from diagnosis to relapse was 1.7 years (interquartile range, 0.8-3.1 years). Most relapses occurred during (53.9%) or following (24.9%) maintenance chemotherapy, and the majority occurred in the bone marrow (63.1%). Following the initial relapse, subsequent 3-year EFS (± standard error) and OS were 22.0% ± 1.7%, and 28.2% ± 1.9%, respectively. In multivariable analysis, worse postrelapse survival was associated with age ≥ 10 years, white blood cell count ≥ 50 × 109/L, and positive central nervous system status at the original ALL diagnosis, relapse that was not isolated central nervous system or testicular, and relapse < 36 months following diagnosis. Site and time to relapse were used to identify a favorable risk group whose 3-year EFS and OS were 50.0% ± 8.9% and 68.0% ± 8.1%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Prognosis after relapsed ALL in Central America is poor, but a substantial number of those with favorable risk features have prolonged survival, despite lack of access to stem cell transplantation. Stratification by risk factors can guide therapeutic decision-making. Cancer 2013. © 2012 American Cancer Society.

Ceppi F.,University of Toronto | Antillon F.,National Pediatric Oncology Unit | Pacheco C.,Manuel de Jesus Rivera Hospital | Sullivan C.E.,Outreach | And 5 more authors.
Expert Review of Hematology | Year: 2015

In the last two decades, remarkable progress in the treatment of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia has been achieved in many low-and middle-income countries (LMIC), but survival rates remain significantly lower than those in high-income countries. Inadequate supportive care and consequent excess mortality from toxicity are important causes of treatment failure for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in LMIC. This article summarizes practical supportive care recommendations for healthcare providers practicing in LMIC, starting with core approaches in oncology nursing care, management of tumor lysis syndrome and mediastinal masses, nutritional support, use of blood products for anemia and thrombocytopenia, and palliative care. Prevention and treatment of infectious diseases are described in a parallel paper. © 2015 © Informa UK, Ltd.

Friedrich P.,Dana Farber Boston Childrens Cancer and Blood Disorders Center | Ortiz R.,Pediatric Oncology | Fuentes S.,Pediatric Oncology | Gamboa Y.,Pediatric Oncology | And 6 more authors.
Cancer | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND The delivery of effective treatment for pediatric solid tumors poses a particular challenge to centers in middle-income countries (MICs) that already are vigorously addressing pediatric cancer. The objective of this study was to improve the current understanding of barriers to effective treatment of pediatric solid tumors in MICs. METHODS An ecologic model centered on pediatric sarcoma and expanded to country as the environment was used as a benchmark for studying the delivery of solid tumor care in MICs. Data on resources were gathered from 7 centers that were members of the Central American Association of Pediatric Hematologists and Oncologists (AHOPCA) using an infrastructure assessment tool. Pediatric sarcoma outcomes data were available, were retrieved from hospital-based cancer registries for 6 of the 7 centers, and were analyzed by country. Patients who were diagnosed from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2009 with osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, and other soft tissue sarcomas were included in the analysis. To explore correlations between resources and outcomes, a pilot performance index was created. RESULTS The analyses identified specific deficits in human resources, communication, quality, and infrastructure. The treatment abandonment rate, the proportion of metastatic disease at diagnosis, the relapse rate, and the 4-year abandonment-sensitive overall survival (AOS) rate varied considerably by country, ranging from 1% to 38%, from 15% to 54%, from 24% to 52%, and from 21% to 51%, respectively. The treatment abandonment rate correlated inversely with health economic expenditure per capita (r = -0.86; P =.03) and life expectancy at birth (r = -0.93; P =.007). The 4-year AOS rate correlated inversely with the mortality rate among children aged <5 years (r = -0.80; P = 0.05) and correlated directly with the pilot performance index (r = 0.98; P = 0.005). CONCLUSIONS Initiatives to improve the effectiveness of treatment for pediatric solid tumors in MICs are warranted, particularly for pediatric sarcomas. Building capacity and infrastructure, improving supportive care and communication, and fostering comprehensive, multidisciplinary teams are identified as keystones in Central America. A measure that meaningfully describes performance in delivering pediatric cancer care is feasible and needed to advance comparative, prospective analysis of pediatric cancer care and to define resource clusters internationally. Cancer 2014;120:112-125. © 2013 American Cancer Society. Effective delivery of pediatric solid tumor care poses a challenge to centers in low-income and middle-income countries. However, the complex variety of factors involved in delivery of care can be conceptualized in discrete components, analyzed using transparent methods, and interpreted in ways meaningful to leadership at a pediatric cancer center. © 2013 American Cancer Society.

Gupta S.,University of Toronto | Antillon F.A.,National Pediatric Oncology Unit | Bonilla M.,Pediatric Oncology | Fu L.,Pediatric Oncology | And 3 more authors.
Cancer | Year: 2011

BACKGROUND: The objectives of this study were to describe the incidence, timing, and predictors of treatment-related mortality (TRM) among children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. METHODS: Patients aged <20 years who were diagnosed with ALL between January 2000 and March 2008, who received treatment in any of the 3 countries, and who started induction chemotherapy were included in the study. Almost all patients were treated on the El Salvador-Guatemala-Honduras II protocol, which was based on the St. Jude Total XIII and XV protocols. Biologic, socioeconomic, and nutritional variables were examined as predictors of TRM. RESULTS: Of 1670 patients, TRM occurred as a first event in 156 children (9.3%); TRM occurred during remission induction therapy in 92 of 156 children (59%), between remission induction and maintenance therapy in 27 of 156 children (17%), and during maintenance therapy in 37 of 156 children (24%). Although the TRM rate decreased in patients who were diagnosed after July 1, 2004 (11.2% vs 7.9%; P =.02), the rate of induction death did not change (5.2% vs 5.8%; P =.58). Independent predictors of induction death included higher risk ALL (odds ratio [OR], 1.84; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-3.27; P =.04), lower initial platelet counts (OR per 10 × 109/L, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.89-0.98; P =.005), and longer travel time to the clinic (OR, 1.06 per hour; 95% CI, 1.01-1.14; P =.03). CONCLUSIONS: In Central America, TRM remains an important cause of treatment failure in children with ALL. A large proportion of TRM occurs in maintenance, although this proportion has decreased over time. Supportive care interventions should especially target children who present with low platelet counts. Further study on transfusion ability and the location of induction deaths is required. Cancer 2011;. © 2011 American Cancer Society. Rates of treatment-related mortality (TRM) were significantly higher in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in low-income countries compared with similar patients in high-income countries. In a cohort of children with ALL across 3 Central American countries, the authors observed that the timing, causes, and predictors of TRM were different in this population than in high-income settings, suggesting that different interventions are required to improve outcomes. Copyright © 2011 American Cancer Society.

Uwineza A.,National Childrens Research Center | Gill H.,National Center for Medical Genetics | Buckley P.,Molecular Pathology Laboratory | Owens C.,National Pediatric Oncology Unit | And 9 more authors.
Cancer Genetics | Year: 2014

Nomenclature for the three recognized forms of rhabdoid tumor reflect their anatomic localization and include malignant rhabdoid tumor of the kidney (MRTK), extrarenal extracranial rhabdoid tumor (EERT), and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT) involving the central nervous system. Astrikingly simple karyotype belies the fact that rhabdoid tumors are among the most lethal human cancers, and now early strides are beginning to elucidate their molecular pathogenesis. Rhabdoid tumors are largely confined to the pediatric population, where they occur preferentially during infancy. Given the rarity of this tumor, international consensus on best treatment has only recently been achieved in conjunction with the establishment of the European Rhabdoid Tumor Registry. Between 1986 and 2013, 25 pediatric patients were diagnosed with rhabdoid tumor in the Republic of Ireland. Of these patients, 13 presented with ATRT, eight had MRTK, and four had EERT. The mean age at diagnosis was 38.8 months, with an equal sex incidence. Because of the lack of a standardized treatment strategy for rhabdoid tumors, these patients have been treated largely according to anatomic site, based on sarcoma, renal, or brain tumor protocols contemporary to their diagnoses. Of the patients, 84% received chemotherapy, 80% underwent surgery, and 44% had radiation therapy. The outcome overall was poor, independent of anatomic location. The overall survival rate was 24%, and mean time to death was just under 9 months. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

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