In a new study led by Yale Cancer Center researchers, neuromuscular dysfunction is found to be common in long-term childhood cancer survivors, continues to increase after therapy, and is associated with adverse health and socioeconomic outcomes. The findings were published in the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
“These findings are critical for childhood cancer survivors,” said Rozalyn L. Rodwin, MD, a postdoctoral clinical researcher in the Yale Cancer Center’s Department of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology) and lead author of the study. “Children treated for cancer are at risk for neuromuscular dysfunction, but data on prevalence, longitudinal patterns and long-term effects are limited.”
Rodwin and researchers examined longitudinal surveys of 25,583 childhood cancer survivors more than 5 years after diagnosis and 5,044 siblings from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. They evaluated the functional deficiencies that childhood cancer survivors often face as a result of their cancer treatment, even long after their treatment is over. Researchers estimate the frequency of conditions that affect strength, feeling and balance in long-term survivors. The data showed that survivors were nearly ten times more likely than siblings to have one of these debilitating conditions, that nearly a quarter of survivors had at least one condition within 20 years of their diagnosis, and that survivors with these conditions were more likely to have emotional experiences. distress and unemployment.
“We hope that these findings will result in increased screening and surveillance for neuromuscular dysfunction in childhood cancer survivors and that this study will highlight the need for better interventions to prevent and treat these conditions,” added Rodwin.
Nina Kadan-Lottick, MD, MSPH, associate professor of pediatrics (hematology/oncology) and leader of the Childhood Cancer Disease Aligned Research Team (DART) at Yale Cancer Center is senior author of the study.
Submitted by Anne Doerr on June 09, 2021