Research on the Late Effects of Childhood Cancer

The great strides that have been made in treating pediatric cancer in the past four decades are directly related to the commitment of pediatric oncology to organized clinical research. The need for research continues.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is at the forefront of studying the late effects of cancer therapy. Investigators at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have studied and reported on many medical and psychological late effects in survivors of childhood cancer. Some studies may help us change the way we treat future patients to minimize the long-term effects of therapy. Other studies may provide information about a specific late complication that certain survivors are experiencing and enable clinicians to provide better follow-up care and treatment.

Current research efforts by the Cancer Survivorship Program include a diverse group of investigator initiated and cooperative group studies.

Ongoing research studies include:

Investigator Initiated

  • Ovarian reserve in female cancer survivors as compared to healthy age matched controls
  • The Effects of Cancer Treatments on Ovarian Function: a longitudinal study by the Oncofertility Consortium (ORACLE)
  • Psychological outcomes in childhood cancer survivors
  • Assessing Testicular Function in Survivors of Childhood Brain Tumors
  • Mothers as Caregivers for Survivors of Childhood Brain Tumors
  • Fertility Preservation in Prepubertal Boys: An Experimental Approach
  • Addressing the Challenge of Transition to Adult-Oriented Care for Childhood Cancer Survivors: A Pilot Study of a New Assessment Tool to Assess Transition Readiness
  • Development of a Normative Sample for the Functional Mobility Assessment
  • Ovarian Tissue Freezing for patients at Risk for Infertility and Premature Ovarian Failure
  • Structural Bone Deficits in Survivors of Childhood Leukemia after BMT
  • Outcomes in Reproduction for Childhood and Adolescent Survivors (ORCAS-Cisplatin): A Multi-Site Pilot Study
  • Cardiac biomarkers during anthracycline therapy and the risk of cardiotoxicity
  • Evaluation of Iron Overload in Pediatric Oncology and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Patients

Children’s Oncology Group Studies

  • Late Effects
    • ALTE03N1: Key Adverse Events after Childhood Cancer
    • Cancer Control
      • AALL03N1: Understanding the Role of Adherence and Ethnic Differences in Survival After Childhood ALL
      • AALL06N1: A Study of Neurocognitive Function in Children Treated for ALL

    Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS)

    In 1996, Children’s Hospital became one of 27 sites across the United States and Canada to participate in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), which was established with funding from the National Cancer Institute. The initial cohort for CCSS involved over 14,000 childhood cancer survivors diagnosed between 1970 and 1986; more than 800 of these survivors were Children's Hospital patients. Data collected as part of this study provides an excellent resource to help investigate current and future questions regarding consequences of therapy, interventions, and quality of life among childhood cancer survivors. Children’s Hospital is now participating in the expansion of the cohort for CCSS to include survivors diagnosed between 1987 and 1999.