The following individuals are the successful recipients of POGO’s 2017 Seed Grants.
Anne Klassen, DPhil (Oxon)
Brian Timmons, PhD and Vicky Breakey, MD, FRCPC, MEd
Petros Pechlivanoglou, PhD
Establishing Content Validity of FACE-Q Kids for Pediatric Head and Neck Cancer
Principal Investigator: Anne Klassen, DPhil (Oxon)
Co-Investigators: Dr. David Dix, Dr. Paul Nathan, Dr. Eric Bouffett
Lay Summary: Patient-reported outcome instruments (PROs) are questionnaires that measure outcomes (eg, quality of life) that matter to patients by asking them directly. The study
aims to determine if a new PRO called FACE-Q Kids can be used in head/neck (HN) cancer.
Impact/Relevance: A facial difference can have an important impact on a person’s QOL.
In order to measure outcomes in pediatric HN cancer, carefully conceptualized, valid, reliable,
and responsive PROs are needed. Given that appearance and facial function are concepts not well addressed in current cancer PROs, it is anticipated that the FACE-Q Kids-oncology module will be
widely adopted in HN cancer treatment studies and clinical practice.
Principal Investigator: Brian Timmons, PhD and Vicky Breakey, MD, FRCPC, MEd
Co-Investigators: Dr. Adam Fleming, Dr. Stacey Marjerrison, Dr. Joyce Obeid, Dr. Lehana Thabane
Lay Summary: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common type of childhood cancer. Treatment for ALL lasts 2-3 years and results in a weakened immune system, putting kids at risk for infection. The combination of inactivity and the side effects of chemotherapy increase their risk of obesity and other illnesses, which can lead to further health issues in adulthood. Previous research shows that as little as 30 minutes of exercise in healthy kids can boost special cells in the blood called natural killer cells. Natural killer cells help to find and destroy viruses and cancer cells, and can even direct other types of cells to help.
Impact/Relevance: Showing an increase in natural killer cells after exercise in patients with ALL is the first step in understanding the role that exercise might play in boosting the immune system. By understanding the effects of exercise on the immune systems of children being treated for ALL, the study hopes to improve their health during therapy and beyond.
Principal Investigator: Petros Pechlivanoglou, PhD
Co-Investigators: Dr. Jason Pole, Dr. Sumit Gupta, Dr. Paul Nathan, Dr. Tal Schechter-Finkelstein, Dr. Wendy Ungar
Lay Summary: Acute Lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer. Although most children with ALL can be cured, those that relapse will have much lower chances to survive. Stem cell transplant (SCT) is the standard therapy for these children but is associated with high death rates and long-term complications. An alternative to SCT was developed recently: chimeric antigen receptor T-cells (CART) therapy. CART therapy is very effective but also very expensive; one course of therapy costs approximately $500,000 and is currently available only in the US. We propose a study to evaluate the “value-for-money” of CART therapy compared to SCT for children with high-risk ALL who have relapsed.
Impact/Relevance: This study will provide POGO and provincial health policy makers evidence around the value-for-money of CART therapy and and so help them make better informed funding decisions.