Project Funding Grant Recipients – Spring 2023
Principal Investigator: Dr. Avram Denburg
Co-Investigators: Dr. David Malkin, Dr. Anita Villani, Dr. Lesleigh Abbott, Dr. Sarah Sawyer
Project Summary: Precision oncology, using genomic data to personalize cancer care for individual patients, holds promise for children with hard-to-cure cancers. The study aims to advance understanding of the psychosocial impacts of pediatric precision oncology care through an in-depth evaluation of patient-reported outcomes and experiences, to guide implementation of pediatric precision oncology care into sustainable, patient-centred models of clinical practice.
Impact/Relevance: This project hopes to fill a gap in knowledge about the psychosocial impacts of precision oncology programs on patients and families. It will provide lessons for how best to expand to a future evaluation of psychosocial impacts at a national Canadian level. Importantly, this work will help tailor the design and implementation of precision oncology care in Canada to meet the psychosocial needs of children and their families.
Financial hardship in Canadian childhood cancer survivors
Principal Investigators: Dr. Petros Pechlivanoglou and Dr. Paul Nathan
Co-Investigators: Dr. Sumit Gupta, Dr. Avram Denburg, Dr. Jason Pole, Dr. Beverly Essue,
Project Summary: This project focuses on understanding the long-term effect of pediatric cancer on Canadian survivors’ future earnings and their ability to join/remain in the workforce.
This study aims to evaluate and quantify the long-term, attributable impact of childhood cancer on employment income and labour market participation in Canadian adult survivors of childhood cancer, compared to the general population. It also will examine the independent effect of sociodemographic and disease-related risk factors on employment income and labour market participation in Canadian adult survivors of childhood cancer.
Impact/Relevance: This study will help determine if childhood cancer survivors across Canada are experiencing financial difficulties. Our research findings can help provincial governments put programs and supports in place for survivors, such as financial planning. This pilot hopes to launch a collaboration between pediatric oncologists and health economists to build a research program that leverages the Statistics Canada Social Data Linkage Environment to examine socioeconomic burden and health services use in childhood cancer.
Developing a guideline to support timely palliative care involvement in pediatric oncology
Principal Investigators: Prof Kimberley Widger and Dr. Alisha Kassam
Co-Investigators: Dr. Sumit Gupta, Dr. Donna Johnston, Dr. Adam Rapoport, Ms. Marlie Smith, Dr. Laura Wheaton, Dr. Dave Lysecki, Dr. Leeat Granek, Lilliane Hajjar, Dr. Alexandra Zorzi, Dr. Andrea Johnson,
Project Summary: Palliative Care is considered an ethical imperative, which should be available to all children from the time of diagnosis of a life-threatening condition like cancer. However, referral patterns for children with cancer to Specialized Pediatric Palliative Care (SPPC) teams vary widely across institutions and clinicians and these referrals often occur late in the disease process. This project will develop provincial guidelines to support standardization of SPPC referral practices in pediatric oncology.
Impact and Relevance: Development of a provincial consensus-based guideline will provide a framework to standardize SPPC care delivery and quality, increase provider awareness regarding best practices for SPPC referral, increase inter-professional collaboration, help existing programs advocate for resources, and create a platform for future research. This guideline represents an important step to improving widespread, timely access to SPPC for children with cancer.