Researchers & Healthcare Professionals

Pediatric Cancer - Insights, Challenges, Strategies & Resources

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Date: May 19, 2011
Credit Available Until: January 2013
Target Audience: Oncology nurses and social workers involved in the treatment of patients with pediatric cancer.
Download: Program Slides | Supporting Information | Resources | Transcript
Listen: Program Audio


To educate oncology nurses and social workers on the insights, challenges, strategies and resources of pediatric cancer from diagnosis through survivorship.


At the conclusion of this program, participants should be able to:

  • Explain key action items for families regarding pediatric cancer diagnosis, treatment and survivorship
  • Identify significant physical, cognitive, psychosocial and long-term/late effects of treatment
  • Describe strategies and interventions for managing long-term/late effects of treatment
  • Identify resources to help families obtain education services


Daniel Armstrong, Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Director, Mailman Center for Child Development
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Associate Chief of Staff, Holtz Children's Hospital at
the UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center
Miami, Florida

David S. Gordon, MS
Executive Director
Living Through Learning Foundation
Woodbridge, New Jersey


We are all celebrating the tremendous growth in childhood leukemia survivorship. However, now we have young people who survived this disease but who are experiencing the consequences of the treatment necessary to get that survival. And those consequences are what we call late effects. We are seeing that we can perhaps lessen the impact of some long-term, cognitive difficulties. There are some emerging, promising treatments.

Dr. Armstrong and Mr. Gordon discuss a range of challenges facing children with leukemia or lymphoma and their families, including physical, psychosocial, and cognitive late effects that can arise from treatment. The speakers share resources and other important information during the question-and-answer segment of the teleconference.

Program Highlights

  • Predictors of long-term effects include the child's age at the time of treatment, dose intensity, and the specific type of treatment given.
  • Abilities intact prior to treatment tend to remain relatively unaffected, whereas development after treatment tends to be at greater risk.
  • It is important for families to keep a child's medical records. One reason is that survivors are living longer than ever before and it is critical to track late effects of treatment.
  • It can be very helpful for families to give the school administration, nurse, and teacher information about the child's medical and learning needs prior to the student's return to school.
  • Cognitive remediation is one area being explored to help regain survivors' cognitive strength. Educational support, early intervention, and drug therapies may also have important roles.
  • Cancer brings an acute distress for both children and parents. Most long-term studies suggest many survivors are not more likely than peers to have psychological problems later in life.

Questions Asked by the Pediatric Cancer Community

  • What fertility issues can arise from pediatric cancer treatment?
  • What options may young people have for preserving their fertility?
  • What data and other resources are available to help increase parent awareness of possible late effects?
  • How can parents ensure that schools provide the most comprehensive accommodations for children who need them?
  • How can parents locate and enroll children in a study focusing on late effects of treatment?
  • What are some everyday steps families can take at home to help lessen late treatment effects?
  • Is there testing that can differentiate late effects of treatment versus Down's syndrome effects?
  • What special considerations should parents and children with cancer have when looking at colleges or vocational schools?


This program was sponsored by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

last updated on Tuesday, June 04, 2013