Blog Archives

Could this Drug Protect Children from Hearing Loss after Chemotherapy?


When cisplatin was first used to treat cancer in the late 70s, it made a big impact.

It was the most extraordinary breakthrough treatment,” says Dr Penelope Brock, paediatric consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital. “It started as a treatment for testicular cancer, but it wasn’t long before we started using it to treat children’s cancers as well.”

Unfortunately, as well as killing cancer cells, the chemotherapy also killed cells in the inner ear. This left over 60% of children with hearing loss after treatment.

The unexpected side effect has been a focus of Brock’s research since it was first discovered. And now, almost 40 years later, a solution may have arrived.

New research, funded by Cancer Research UK and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows a drug called sodium thiosulphate can protect against hearing loss after cisplatin treatment.

“With sodium thiosulphate, we have a real opportunity to make children’s cancer treatment safer. The results have been a long time coming, and I’m so glad they’re finally here.”

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Winter Shoe & Clothing Drive: Why Cancer Kids Need to Dress Warmly


We are desperate for NEW winter footwear and clothing for our Little Fighters and unfortunately the response has been absolutely minimal so far.

We have close to 15 000 followers and a reach of over 50 000 people weekly!! If just 10% would purchase JUST ONE item each we would more than make our target 😥

Every year the Little Fighters Cancer Trust aims to provide around 2 000 Children with Cancer with warm clothing, scarves,gloves, mittens, socks and shoes before the winter cold sets in, and this is for a VERY good reason.

Most of our Childhood Cancer Families cannot afford to purchase new clothing and due to weight loss or gain as a result of the treatment it is often necessary. It is absolutely vital that a Child with cancer keep warm at all times because the cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy lower white blood cell count.

White blood cells are the body’s weapons against infection; having a low white blood cell count weakens the cancer patient’s immune system. If treatment has lowered your child’s white blood cell count, that may explain why they feel cold. Platelets are one of the three kinds of blood cells that circulate oxygen throughout the body. If one does not have enough of them, one’s body cannot get enough oxygen, which means one can develop anemia-which causes one to feel cold, among other things.

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Emotional Stages for Parents of Children with Cancer


Hearing the doctor say the words “your child has cancer” will never be easy to hear.

Parents go through several stages throughout this process much like the five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

However, unlike losing a loved one suddenly, cancer can go on for several years with many highs and lows.

This results in stages varying in timing, duration, and cycles.

By acknowledging and understanding the possible stages you can better progress through the phases parents’ may go through.

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I Love/Hate My Work


Most days I love what I do with the Little Fighters Cancer Trust because although it is tough to deal with Children with Cancer and their Families every day because we see firsthand what they go through, knowing that we are helping take the strain off them even just a little bit is a good feeling.

TODAY I HATE MY JOB!!!!

Today is the kind of day that I hate my job – the kind of day when things are trundling along and one is doing what one does to help our beneficiaries but somewhere deep down there is a feeling that there is a monster lurking in the dark which is going to pounce any minute… and then it does!!!

Around 30 minutes ago I received a WhatsApp message that made my heart drop, my stomach curdle and my eyes tear up…

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Childhood Cancer Survivors @ Higher Risk of Mental Illness


The results of a new study suggest that being labelled “a child survivor” leads to problems in adulthood

While many Children with Cancer now survive, new research has shown that they are at greater risk of poor mental health outcomes, such as anxiety and substance abuse, according to a Canadian oncologist who was surprised at the extent of severe issues.

About 80% of children with cancer will achieve a long-term cure. Yet childhood cancer survivors may be vulnerable to long-term physical effects that can be severe. Less is known about impacts on mental health.

In a recent issue of the journal Cancer, researchers analysed data from about 4,000 childhood cancer survivors in Ontario as well as 20,000 others in the general population to compare health care use. The findings have implications for mental health supports and parenting those who have survived cancer.

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Powerful Resource to Advance Treatment of Childhood Solid Tumours Unveiled at St. Jude


In an effort to improve outcomes for patients with some of the deadliest Childhood Cancers, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have created the world’s largest collection of Childhood solid tumour samples, drug-sensitivity data and related information and have made the resource available at no charge to the global scientific community.

St. Jude and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute collaborated to create the resource, known as the Childhood Solid Tumour Network (CSTN), which was launched in 2013.

Survival rates for children with recurrent solid tumours have not improved significantly in more than 20 years and remain below 30 %,” said corresponding author Michael Dyer, Ph.D., Chair of the St. Jude Department of Developmental Neurobiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. “This research will change that by promoting scientific collaboration to leverage the efforts of researchers worldwide to advance understanding and ultimately treatment of Childhood solid tumours.”

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