PTLD: A Primer

Presentation Description:
Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) refers to a spectrum of pathologic and clinical presentations of premalignant and malignant B cell proliferation in the setting of altered immune function post solid organ or bone marrow transplantation This session introduced the epidemiology, pathology, and treatment of PTLD and provided recommendations for supportive care of children with PTLD.

Angela Punnett, MD, FRCPC
Pediatric Oncologist
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics
University of Toronto, Toronto

2011 POGO Symposium on Childhood Cancer

The 2011 POGO Multi-Disciplinary Symposium on Childhood Cancer – Unraveling the Mysteries of Transplantation – examined clinical and scientific advances in pediatric stem cell transplantation as treatment for various types of cancers.  It focused on the medical and psychosocial impacts of this intensive intervention on patients, families, donors and survivors, and examined important ethical issues.  A multi-disciplinary audience of over 270 healthcare professionals attended. Learning objectives included:

  • Recognize and examine critical milestones in the evolution of pediatric stem cell transplantation.
  • Identify and manage clinical complications affecting pediatric stem cell transplant patients.
  • Recognize and mitigate psychosocial effects of transplant on patients, families, donors and survivors.
  • Identify and evaluate ethical issues relating to pediatric stem cell transplantation.
  • Demonstrate improved communication skills to promote co-operative integrated management of pediatric stem cell transplant patients.


NOTE: The content of each presentation below captures the unedited information and opinions presented by the speakers. Please note that the information contained in the presentations was current at the time it was presented – there may be further information in subsequent literature. Listed speaker credentials were current at the time of presentation.

An Overview of Behavioural/Psychosocial Aspects of Transplant

Presentation Description:  When a child has to undergo a SCT, the entire family is involved.  The way parents deal with the stressors surrounding SCT has a direct influence on the child’s coping and emotional well being.  If risk factors for a difficult adaptation can be identified early in the trajectory, families can be counseled more efficiently.  This presentation dealt with the emotional impact of SCT before, during and afterwards (including the long term of 5 and 10 years after SCT) on parents and patients, methods to assess emotional reactions in parents and patients and the identified risk and protective factors.  Additionally, several fragments of a DVD that was made to better prepare parents to the SCT period were shown.  The DVD involved a group session of four couples of parents whose children have undergone SCT, talking about issues they have or had before, during and after their child’s SCT.


Jantien Vrijmoet-Wiersma, PhD
Pediatric Psychologist
Private Practice

The Behavioural/Psychosocial Aspects of Transplant – Managing the Issues

Presentation Description:  BMT provides hope for many children diagnosed with diseases that were once thought incurable.  This hope sustains patients and their families through the difficult periods of planning, treatment and recovery.  However, contemplating a BMT, undergoing the procedure and coping with the recovery process are complex experiences for patients, families and their communities.  Many factors significantly influence a child’s and family’s coping during these stages of BMT. This presentation provided practical information and knowledge about preparation for, life during, and recovery after BMT.


Christine Armstrong, RN (EC), NP-Pediatrics
Nurse Practitioner
Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Division of Haematology/Oncology
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON

Deborah Berlin-Romalis, BSW, MSW, RSW
Clinical Social Worker
Division of Haematology/Oncology
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON

Sarah Courtney, RN, MN, CPON
Clinical Nurse Specialist
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON

Clinical Complications During Transplant

Presentation Description:  Complications during the acute period of hematopoietic-stem-cell transplantation are common and represent a major cause for transplant related morbidity and mortality.  These complications include: engraftment failure, graft-versus-host disease, viral, bacterial and fungal infections as well as specific organ injury.This presentation provided an overview on complications during and after the acute period of hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. A focus was given to engraftment failure, viral reactivation and pulmonary complications.  Studies conducted in The Hospital for Sick Children were presented.


Tal Schechter-Finkelstein, MD
Assistant Professor
University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
Staff Physician
Division of Hematology/Oncology
The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON