Providing Pediatric Cancer Patients With Tools to Boost Resiliency During Treatment

JUNE 03, 2018
E. Anders Kolb, MD
At the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2018 annual meeting in Chicago, E. Anders Kolb, MD, Director of Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, explained the importance of teaching resiliency as an educational tool and addressing the psychosocial burdens placed on patients in pediatric oncology.

Dr Kolb: I just came from a talk by Abby Rosenburg, MD, MS, MA at Seattle Children’s, who is working on [developing] tools to help adolescent, young-adult patients work on resiliency throughout the course of treatment.

Making sure that we can improve outcomes not just through cancer therapy, but also improve outcomes by—and there were several talks about this—ensuring that adolescent, young-adult survivors of childhood cancers participate in exercise programs, participate in healthy behaviors like HPV vaccination, that they’re engaged in their care, and that they have tools at their disposal during treatment that will improve their resiliency through treatment.

We know that adolescent, young-adult survivors are less likely to go to college, less likely to get married, less likely to stay married, less likely to have a high-paying job relative to sibling or normal controls.

Providing the tools during treatment that can help adolescents and young adults not only be cured of their cancers, but not be saddled with the baggage associated with treatment in terms of psychosocial distress and adjustment [is important]. We want to make sure that we support them through their therapy, that we have the right psychosocial teams available to them, and that we have the right validated psychosocial tools available to them as well. We want to make sure we’re able study these tools and apply them specifically with inspected and monitored outcomes.

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