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Scientists have made progress in research of childhood cancer and the latest treatment will also cover mental health assessment.

February 15th is International Childhood Cancer Day, reminding us that childhood cancer deserves more attention since more than 250,000 children are diagnosed with cancer and about 90,000 children die from cancer every year.

In recent years, the incidence of childhood cancer has been increasing, but children suffering from cancer have not received enough attention from all walks of life. How to make breakthroughs in the field of childhood cancer treatment and find more accurate and effective treatments is a problem that scientists worldwide have been exploring. Recent research on childhood cancer has made some new progress.

Precision medicine of childhood cancer: JAMA Network Open published a research result of the CHU Sainte-Justine TRICEPS team that genomic profiling will help clinical treatment of childhood cancer. Until April 2019, the team had enrolled 84 patients. In 87% of patients, the study identified genomic anomalies that allowed for better patient management. The therapeutic alternatives are personalized because the proposed actions will be different for each patient. The discoveries can lead to a “targeted” therapy because it specifically seeks to block (or bypass) the action of genes that cause cancer progression.

Gene technology for Ewing sarcoma: Ewing sarcoma is a childhood cancer driven by EWS-ETS transcription factor fusion oncoproteins. The majority of tumors express wild-type TP53, and thus, therapies targeting the p53 pathway would benefit most patients. To discover targets specific for TP53 wild-type Ewing sarcoma, scientists used a genome-scale CRISPR-Cas9 screening approach and identified and validated MDM2, MDM4, USP7, and PPM1D as druggable dependencies.

New target for treating childhood cancer: SWI/SNF is a multi-component protein complex that plays an important role in chromatin remodeling. It is also likely an important tumor suppressor, as indicated by the fact that approximately 20% of human cancers carry a mutation in one or more SWI/SNF protein components. This SWI/SNF component protein is mutated in a number of cancers, including malignant rhabdoid tumor (MRT), a highly aggressive, nearly uniformly fatal childhood cancer. William Tansey and his laboratory found that cancers bearing an SNF5 mutation may be susceptible to therapy by MYC inhibition, providing yet another reason why the discovery of clinically viable MYC inhibitors is of utmost importance. 

The purpose of modern childhood cancer treatment is not only for the survival rate and the extension of survival time, but also to improve the quality of life. The principle of treatment of pediatric tumors has been raised to the integration of eradication of tumor, functional maintenance and mental health.

For the first two principles, childhood cancer patients are very different from adults, for they are at the stage of growth, thus the treatment plan must take the impact of treatment on the normal development of children into consideration. For example, the widespread use of radiation therapy in adults has been severely limited in childhood cancer treatment due to the risk of skeletal deformities, gonad damage, and intellectual effects in children. In the future, there will be anti-tumor drugs and treatment being more safe, effective, and less toxic, such as biological treatment, gene therapy, differentiation induction therapy to replace traditional chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

For mental health, on the basis of further improvement of tumor eradication and long-term survival, the mental health of children with tumors will be increasingly valued. Psychological problems, including children’s self-experience, psychological effects, concerns about relapses and difficulties in participating in society, should be brought to the attention. Parents should be noticed that organ function and appearance reconstruction are also necessary for those who have suffered growth stagnation, and whose appearance is abnormal due to surgery and radiation therapy.

In short, the childhood cancer treatment is being improved, and under the premise of continuous increase of survival rate, children’s long-term psychological and physical healthComputer Technology Articles, as well as functional maintenance must be considered when formulating treatment plans.

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Obesity in children and teens (meaning a BMI-for-age above the 95th percentile) can occur as a result of different combinations of reasons, including environmental and genetic factors. However, it’s important to realise that weight gain, whether leading to mild or severe clinical obesity, typically occurs only when a person consumes more calories than he/she expends. A large calorie surplus is typically needed to cause obesity.There is an epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States and throughout the world. Experts estimate one in five children between the ages of 6 and 17 are overweight. Millions of these children face a higher risk much earlier in life of developing obesity-related disorders, such as diabetes and heart disease.Studies have shown obese children have an exceptionally hard time losing weight and following through with lifestyle changes in adulthood when their health, and even their lives, may depend on them – all the more reason why parents should encourage kids to remain physically active throughout childhood.Childhood obesity is the result of an interaction between food, state of mind, family and the environment.An imbalance between intake and output. Intake: excessive consumption of fast foods and unhealthy food choices. Output: less time spent playing outside, more time spent on a computer, playing video games or watching TV.The Family. The risk of becoming obese is greatest among children who have two obese parents. This may be due to powerful genetic factors, the manner in which the child is raised, parental modeling of both eating and exercise behaviors. One half of parents of elementary school children never exercise vigorously.Low-energy Expenditure. The average American child spends several hours each day watching television; time which in previous years might have been devoted to physical pursuits. Obesity is greater among children and adolescents who frequently watch television, not only because little energy is expended while viewing but also because of simultaneous consumption of high-calorie snacks. Only about one-third of elementary children have daily physical education, and less than than one-fifth have extracurricular physical activity programs at their schools. The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to take walks or otherwise get physical with their children at least once a week, to make up for shrinking levels of physical education in schools.Diet ManagementFasting or extreme caloric restriction is not advisable for children. Not only is this approach psychologically stressful, but it may adversely affect growth and the child’s perception of “normal” eating. Balanced diets with moderate caloric restriction, especially reduced dietary fat, have been used successfully in treating obesity (Dietz, 1983). Nutrition education may be necessary. Diet management coupled with exercise is an effective treatment for childhood obesity (Wolf et al., 1985). Prevention of Childhood ObesityParent education is one of the best ways to prevent obesity in children. Preventing obesity is far easier than treating it. Parent education should focus on promotion of breastfeeding, recognition of signals of satiety, selection of low-fat snacks, good exercise habits and monitoring of television viewing.

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