In March, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) approved a $3.7 million, five-year grant to extend Dr. Eric Chow’s research into improving treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in childhood cancer survivors. Dr. Chow is a clinical researcher, epidemiologist, and pediatric oncologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. This is one of two research grants to be awarded to Dr. Chow by the National Cancer Institute. The NCI also chose to extend Dr. Chow’s study of the long-term efficacy of a medication meant to minimize or prevent heart injury in pediatric patients going through chemotherapy. This $2.7 million in research funding will allow for four more years of studies regarding the use of dexrazoxane in pediatric cancer patients.
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“We know these survivors have a higher risk as adults because of their treatment as children,” Chow said in an article for Hutch News. “And this risk is probably under-recognized by both the survivors themselves and their primary care physicians.”
In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, premature cardiovascular disease is the leading non-cancer cause of death in these survivors. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are more common in these patients than in their peers of the same age who never had cancer. However, doctors might not think of these patients as being at risk for heart problems because of their young age. They also may hesitate to treat people for these problems when they’re young.
Chow and his team will use a risk-prediction algorithm to select 800 survivors who are most at risk for serious heart disease out of the 24,500 patents in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. They will then monitor those survivors for high blood pressure, cholesterol issues and diabetes. Those who are found to be under-diagnosed or under-treated will be eligible to participate in a year-long, randomized, controlled trial. The study is designed to improve control of these cardiovascular-disease risk factors through better care coordination with the survivors’ primary-care providers. The control group will receive the intervention on a delayed basis.
It is hoped that this clinical trial will help “move the needle” toward giving people better control over potentially modifiable conditions that will decrease the risk of heart problems later in life .
The second NCI grant will fund research into whether the drug dexrazane, which is used in adult cancer patients might be useful in treating pediatric patients as well. Currently, the American Society of Clinical Oncology recommends administering dexrazoxane to all adults who are exposed to high doses of anthracyclines during their treatment. Anthracyclines are a common class of chemotherapy drugs that are known to cause cardiomyopathy, conditions where the heart muscle becomes weakened, stretched, or has other structural problems.
According to Dr. Chow anthracyclines and related drugs are the single most important risk factor associated with subsequent development of cardiomyopathy and heart failure among cancer survivors. His study will follow up on a series of clinical trials conducted between 1995 and 2001 where half the 1,200 children in the study received the cardioprotectant with their chemo treatment and half did not. A three- to five-year follow-up study suggested that the children who were given dexrazoxane had less heart damage.
Chow and his team will look at the current heart health of 200 of these childhood cancer survivors. This will provide longer-term follow-up data on the effectiveness of dexrazoxane as a potential cardioprotectant for children. Chow said, “If dexrazoxane is found to be effective in minimizing or preventing heart injury among these childhood cancer survivors 15 to 20 years after cancer diagnosis, this would have significant implications on current clinical practice and potentially drug regulatory policy.”
Researchers at at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center meet with lab suppliers at Bioresearch Product Faire:
Each year, Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. hosts a BioResearch Product Faire™ event at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. This biotechnology trade show is a great opportunity for laboratory suppliers to market their products to life science researchers.
The 12th Annual BioResearch Product Faire™ Event in Seattle, WA will be held on Wednesday, October 11, 2017. Last year, this vendor fair attracted 194 attendees. Of these attendees, 45 were professors, post docs and purchasing agents. 17 were lab managers. These attendees came from 8 different research buildings and 20 on-campus departments.
To learn more about exhibiting at this biotechnology trade show, call (530) 272-6675or visit the link below:
This event allows researchers at Fred Hutch to find the right lab products and general lab supplies for their work. Best of all, researchers attend for free!