According to Cancer.org, slightly more than 10,000 children under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with pediatric cancer by the end of the year. While more than 80% of children with cancer in high-income countries such as the United States are treated successfully, data shows that these cancer treatments are often a double-edged sword.
A recent study published in the “Journal of the National Cancer Institute” revealed that pediatric cancer patients experience significant premature aging compared to counterparts in the same age group who did not have pediatric cancer. Cancer treatments such as abdominal radiation and chemotherapy were found to be associated with a greater accumulation of age-related defects.
The results of an international pooled case-control study suggest that reducing the intensity of cancer treatments such as brain irradiation can result in better health outcomes for pediatric cancer survivors.
Investigators analyzed data from four case-control studies of cancer survivors who developed subsequent central nervous system and brain tumors, using data collected from 1942 to 2000 to investigate the association between chemotherapy and the growth of cancers later in life. Of the 1,011 individuals analyzed, 96% in the case population had received chemotherapy compared to 69% in the control group.
Data from the study shows that patients who received cancer treatments before the age of 10 exhibited high radiosensitivity of the meninges. Analysis revealed that high-radiation doses in this age group increased the likelihood of developing meningioma in the future, with pediatric patients who received more than 24Gy of radiation therapy being 30 times more likely to develop meningioma.
Radiation treatments still presented health risks to the patients 30 years after the treatments were administered. Furthermore, children who received methotrexate before the age of 10 also had an elevated risk of developing meningioma later in life. The risk of developing meningioma was higher in patients who had received radiation treatments before age 10 compared to those who had received the treatment past 10 years of age.
The researchers noted that this suggests a reduction in radiation treatment for children under age 10, adding to the growing body of research that recommends subjecting pediatric patients to as little radiation as possible. They also recommended using radiotherapy treatments that had minimal exposure to healthy tissue, stating that the results of their study could be used to inform policies for the treatment of pediatric cancers in children.
Such approaches to pediatric cancer treatment could minimize damage to healthy tissues during treatment and reduce the chances of the subsequent development of cancer. Better yet, the targeted, organ-specific treatments that are being developed by entities such as CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) could reduce the need to administer large doses of therapeutics, thereby potentially slashing the risk of long-term adverse effects.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to CNS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNSP) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CNSP
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