Sydney Children's Hospital Coordinator Late Effects

Many thanks for your very kind and much appreciated gesture of funding research related to the late effects
of treatment for childhood cancer. With the success rates today, 1 in 640 young Australians, aged 15-45
years, is a survivor of childhood cancer and we aim to ensure that we are achieving quality of life, not only
quantity. "Cure is not enough."  

An area in which we have contributed significantly internationally, in the area of late effects ,was with the
publication of an article which drew attention to the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in young
adult survivors of childhood cancer. This together with other factors which increase their risk of heart disease
at an early age, put them at risk of early death and disability.

In collaboration with School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales, we are investigating
the mechanism of what causes the increased risk of diabetes, and looking at a technique which we believe
from animal studies will allow us to detect the risk early on a blood sample. At present that information can
only be obtained on an invasive muscle or liver biopsy which is not practical, in every day practice.

With support from the Kids with Cancer Foundation, I plan to employ a research assistant to follow up and
analyse the data on the cohort of patients who were reported in the original report and make it possible to
perform the laboratory testing described above. It is over 5 years since we collected the initial data on the
original 320 survivors. A significant number of especially the younger patients, had a trend towards diabetes
but did not fulfil the criteria for diagnosis. The fact that at Sydney Children's Hospital we have the ability to
follow up these same patients 5 years later, will I believe, make a significant contribution to the world
literature in this field and hopefully result in young lives being saved from the late effects of their curative
therapy. Knowledge of the risk factors can allow us to modify current treatments, so that we can continue to
improve cure rates but decrease the risks of late effects.  

We have agreement in principle to include childhood cancer survivors from Children's Hospital Westmead in
the study. By increasing the cohort we will power the study to be able to draw further statistically significant
conclusions.  

Peter, you and your Foundation have made significant contributions to childhood cancer through your
support and we are very grateful for your ongoing contribution to our work.

Richard Cohn, Haematologist/Oncologist http://www.behaviouralsciencesunit.org/long-term-follow-up.html


We urge you to consider the children in a hospital near you.  Please donate, post cheques to: Kids with Cancer Foundation, PO Box 135 Westmead NSW 2145 or for credit cards: free-call any donations to 1800 255522, and we guarantee that 100% of these donations will be passed to families, or use this Donate now button or at the top of the page.

Back to Top