Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Study finds more childhood cancer survivors would likely benefit from genetic screening

April 3, 2017 -- "Twelve percent of childhood cancer survivors carry germline mutations that put them or their children at increased risk of developing cancer, according to a landmark study presented today at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. The findings from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital are expected to have an immediate and potentially life-saving impact on the growing population of childhood cancer survivors. ..."

Read the full story at

Early deaths from childhood cancer up to 4 times more common than previously reported

March 8, 2017 -- "... A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology explores this challenging population, finding that death within a month of diagnosis is more likely in very young children and those from minority racial and ethnic groups even independent of low socioeconomic status. ..."

Read full story at

Genetic Clues Help Prevent Late Effects

"... Dr Smita's group and others are systematically studying the genome in order to identify genetic predisposition markers for some of the late effects that are encountered, in turn identifying children at higher risk and also those at lower risk despite the same exposure. ..."

Read full commentary at

A new urgency to protect survivors of childhood cancer

A great Washington Post story from this past December on the negative late effects from the successful treatment of childhood cancers:

"... One of medicine’s greatest successes is the sharp rise in survival rates for children with cancer. But the flip side of that success is that many of those children are turning up years or even decades later with serious and sometimes life-threatening complications, including second cancers, heart disorders, cognitive problems and infertility. ..."

A specific example that hits close to home, "... By age 50, 1 in 3 women who received chest radiation for Hodgkin’s lymphoma will develop breast cancer, compared with less than 1 in 20 in the general population, Armstrong said. ..."

Read the full story at

Letter to the Editor: Childhood cancer bill

"... As a pediatric oncology nurse, I have seen too many young adults who survived cancer in childhood fall through the cracks as they transition to adult care. It is essential that we help support these survivors as they face the effects of treatment later in life. ..."

Read the letter from May 29, 2017 at

Study Finds a Decline in Late Effects After Childhood Treatment

"... Rather than being evenly distributed across cancer types, however, these gains were seen only in patients treated for certain cancers. ..."

Read story at

Friday, March 24, 2017

Future of Children's Hospital can't be a return to the past

Read the full op ed at


"The current uncertainty at University Hospitals is a rare opportunity to elevate Children's Hospital and children's health care in Oklahoma."

"The future foundation of Children's Hospital, effecting treatment options for Oklahoma's most ill children, will be established by the authority in the next few weeks and months."

Monday, March 20, 2017

#ChildrensHospitalsWeek Announced for March 20-27, 2017

Awareness week encourages support for Children’s Hospital Foundation

Oklahoma City, OK [March 17, 2017] – To shine a light on the importance of children’s hospitals and how donations help kids get the best care when they need it, Children’s Hospital Foundation (CHF) is pleased to participate in the first #ChildrensHospitalsWeek, scheduled for March 20-27. CHF is one of 170 member Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) across North America participating in the weeklong initiative.

The following activities encourage support for children’s hospitals March 20-27:
  • Participate in the “My Miracle Child” bandage campaign on social media: Sport a bandage and write on it the name of a child who has benefitted from a children’s hospital, take a photo and share it with #ChildrensHospitalsWeek.
  • Celebrate Free Cone Day at Dairy Queen on Monday, March 20: Fans can receive a free, small soft serve cone at participating locations nationwide. Some locations will use this high-traffic day to raise critical funds for the local children’s hospital by accepting donations. 
  • Tune in to a Facebook Live-athon hosted by Nick Cannon on Friday, March 24, at 10 a.m. (EST): The exciting, two-hour live event will feature appearances by Miss America 2017 Savvy Shields, legendary NFL quarterback Steve Young, singer Alli Simpson and a “Champion” child from every state and Canada, similar to CMN Hospitals’ trademark telethons. Catch the action at
  • Join the Twitch stream for Extra Life United from Thursday, March 23 – Saturday, March 25: Extra Life United is a gaming tournament where attendees experience the mission of CMN Hospitals, connect with other Extra Lifers from around the world, and compete in a gaming tournament to unlock a prize pool of at least $150,000 in funds for their local CMN Hospitals. The event will be broadcast live on Twitch.
  • Tune in for the Ace Hardware Celebrity Golf Shootout on Monday, March 27, at 5 p.m. (EST) on Golf Channel: A field of eight athletes competed in a series of golf challenges in early February 2017 in Hawaii. This year’s Ace Shootout raised more than $2 million for CMN Hospitals. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Ace Hardware Celebrity Golf Shootout has raised more than $20 million for kids treated at member CMN Hospitals.

#ChildrensHospitalsWeek will coincide with CMN Hospitals’ annual “Momentum” event, a gathering of 62 Champion kids from each state and Canada, along with CMN Hospitals’ hospital, corporate, radio and television partners near Orlando, Florida.

Ten-year-old Samantha was diagnosed three years ago with Chiari Malformation, a congenital defect in her skull. Samantha was also diagnosed with Scoliosis and Syringomyelia, disorders that affect her spinal cord. Samantha underwent decompression surgery in hopes of relieving some of her symptoms including back pain, stomach migraines, numbness and dizziness. 

Today, Samantha enjoys singing, art and swimming. She is a sweet girl who enjoys helping others. There is no cure for Samantha, but she believes that one day research doctors will discover one. Until then, she enjoys raising awareness and funds to support research and education through Children’s Hospital Foundation and Children’s Miracle Network.

“By establishing #ChildrensHospitalsWeek in 2017, we’re taking the opportunity to honor not only our Champions and partners, but also the hundreds of children’s hospitals across the U.S. and Canada who impact the lives of millions of children annually,” said John Lauck, president and CEO of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. “We’re reminded daily of the fact that contributions of all sizes add up to provide critical funding for pediatric medical equipment, services, research and charitable care, and that community donations are vital for local kids in need.”

Children’s Hospital Foundation funds pediatric research and education programs, ultimately supporting The Children’s Hospital in serving every county in Oklahoma with more than 233,000 patient encounters. All funds raised through Children’s Hospital Foundation stay in Oklahoma so children will have access to exceptional pediatric specialists without having to leave the state, and no child is turned away from our programs regardless of ability to pay. 

To support Children’s Hospital Foundation, please call 405-271-2260 or visit

Children’s Hospital Foundation is a nonprofit 501c (3) organization in Oklahoma improving the health of children. Since its inception in 1983, Children’s Hospital Foundation, through its volunteer board, vast community support, and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals campaign has funded pediatric re-search and education programs including collaborative projects with the OU Department of Pediatrics, The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, OU Children’s Physicians and the University Hospitals Authority and Trust. For more information, contact Chief Executive Officer Kathy McCracken at 405.650.1718 or visit our website:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

CBS Sunday Morning: Pediatric cancer: Miracles in small packages

CBS Sunday Morning this week focused on cancer treatment.

This piece touches on successes in fighting pediatric cancer and the medical challenges that can come with survival.

“'We’re making advances in certain childhood cancers that we hadn’t envisioned five years ago,' said Dr. Peter Adamson, at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who heads up the nationwide Children’s Oncology Group.

"If there’s a downside to saving children’s lives, it’s that most young cancer survivors are in for problems down the road.

“'We have children who as teenagers require hip replacements because of our treatment,' said Dr. Adamson. 'Then, there are a number of children who by the time they’re in their 20s, early 30s experience heart failure.'”

Link to story

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Treatment advances have not improved long-term health status of childhood cancer survivors

The long-term health status of childhood cancer survivors is poor according to research published last fall in the Annals of Internal Medicine
"Because survival rates after a diagnosis of childhood cancer have improved substantially over the past 30 years, the population of survivors now includes those who would have died in earlier decades. Self-reported health status among survivors has not improved despite evolution of treatment designed to reduce toxicities."
According to a Nov. 7, 2016 press release from the American College of Physicians
"Treatment advances have not improved long-term health status of childhood cancer survivors."
"Despite an overall decline in radiation exposure, reduced mean chemotherapy doses, and decreased proportions of survivors with more severe chronic health conditions, patient-reported health status generally did not improve across treatment decade."
Primary funding for the research was provided by the National Cancer Institute.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Study may explain vulnerability of young cancer patients to treatment toxicities

It is well documented that children who survive cancer are significantly more likely to suffer from negative late effects from treatment than are adults who are treated for and survive cancer.

Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute say they have discovered a potential explanation for why brain and heart tissues in very young children are more sensitive to collateral damage from cancer treatment than older individuals.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

New Health System Impact on Pediatric Patients

What does a new health system partnership mean for pediatric patients of OU Children's Hospital and OU Children's Physicians?

A new integrated services agreement between the University Hospitals Authority and Trust (UHAT), the University of Oklahoma and SSM Health’s St. Anthony Hospitals and Physicians Group was announced a week ago Friday. Pending regulatory approvals, the new partnership will become effective in the first half of next year when the Hospital Corporation of America, the current operator of OU Medical System hospitals and facilities, will conclude its relationship with UHAT and OU.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Management changes at OU hospitals announced

That the management of OU Children's Hospital along with other facilities is to be taken over by the parent company of St. Anthony was announced yesterday. Read the full story at the Oklahoman: