by Gerlind Bode, ICCCPO advisor
The wonderful news that today more children and adolescents with cancer can be cured from their disease than 20 to 30 years ago are somewhat hampered by the fact that a considerable number of survivors have to struggle with a number of more or less impairing late effects of the treatment and risks for other diseases.
The recent international meeting (European Symposium on Late Complications after Childhood Cancer, ESLCCC) in Amsterdam focused on these issues based on the most recent research worldwide. It was followed by the meeting of the PanCare group which is a multidisciplinary pan-European network of professionals as well as survivors and parents that aims to reduce the frequency, severity and impact of late effects in children and adolescents with cancer (www.pancare.eu).
In order to generate sound data on these issues PanCare has been given an EU grant to investigate the long-term effects of the treatment in a Europe-wide study (PanCareSurFup) and to come up with guidelines for effective follow-up. In some parts closely connected to this project is yet another EU-project with the abbreviation ENCCA (European Network of Cancer Research in Children and Adolescents; www.encca.org) in which ICCCPO has an active part in establishing a ‘survivorship passport’ – a tool that can be given to every survivor of childhood cancer for more effective follow-up.
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