Abstract: The development of drug products for pediatric use often requires age-appropriate formulations which can be more complex and may involve a broader range of excipients than adult dosage forms. Excipients established for adult use are not always appropriate for use in children because they can affect children differently than adults. Therefore, a comprehensive safety assessment of the excipients in a pediatric formulation is essential before use, referring to existing safety data from adult human and animals as well as safety data from pediatric use and juvenile toxicity studies, when available. The overall risk assessment needs to consider the safety risk from the excipients and the extent to which the risk from the disease as such will be ameliorated by the drug formulation. Non-clinical safety studies in juvenile animals are used to assess for specific toxicities or sensitivities of excipients and for establishing safe exposures in pediatric age groups. As for any active ingredient, non-clinical safety studies in juvenile animals should only be performed for excipients if important for clinical risk assessment and labelling. Pharmaceutical companies should be critical of excessive demands for juvenile animal testing, particularly of excipients when critically needed for significant therapeutic benefit.
Abstract: The current study presents preliminary correlational data used to develop a model depicting the psychosocial pathways that lead to the health behaviors of survivors of childhood and young-adult cancer. Data collected from a sample of 18- to 30-year-old cancer survivors (n = 125) was used to examine the relations among interpersonal support and nonsupport, personal agency, avoidance, depressive symptoms and self-efficacy as they related to health behaviors. The outcome measures examined included tobacco and alcohol use, diet, exercise, sunscreen use, medication compliance and follow-up/screening practices. Correlational analyses revealed a number of significant associations among variables. Results are used to inform the development of a health behavior model. Implications for health promotion and survivorship programming are discussed, as well as directions for future research.
Abstract: Improving survival rates in children with malignancy have been achieved at the cost of a high frequency of late adverse effects of treatment, especially in intensively treated patients such as those undergoing haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), many of whom suffer the high burden of chronic toxicity. Secondary malignant neoplasms (SMNs) are one of the most devastating late effects, cause much morbidity and are the most frequent cause of late (yet still premature) treatment-related mortality. They occur in up to 7% of HSCT recipients by 20 years post-HSCT, and with no evidence yet of a plateau in incidence with longer follow-up. This review describes the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features and risk factors of the three main categories of post-HSCT SMNs. A wide range of solid SMNs has been described, usually occurring 10 years or more post-HSCT, related most often to previous or conditioning radiotherapy. Therapy-related acute myeloid leukaemia/myelodysplasia occurs earlier, typically three to seven years post-HSCT, mainly in recipients of autologous transplant and is related to previous alkylating agent or topoisomerase II inhibitor chemotherapy. Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders occur early (usually within two years) post-HSCT, usually presenting as Epstein-Barr virus-related B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Abstract: Medical and academic institutions began prioritizing Pediatric Palliative Care (PPC) less than two decades ago. Although policies and institutions claim to improve the Quality of Life (QoL) of PPC patients and their families, family-defined QoL remains ambiguous. This research investigates the definitions of QoL for PPC patients according to their primary caregivers. We conducted qualitative, semi-structured focus groups of the primary caregivers of PPC patients. The transcripts were analysed for themes using inductive thematic analysis. Participants included primary caregivers of children currently receiving PPC from a healthcare institution in California. We identified several factors that primary caregivers considered components of QoL for their children. The ability to communicate and adapt or be accepted underpinned the concept of QoL for families. QoL for PPC patients was defined by primary caregivers as being able to communicate in a respectful, controlled, physically- and socially-comfortable environment. Attempts to improve QoL should focus not only on pain and symptom control, but also on enhancing opportunities for children to communicate and maintain a sense of dignity.
Abstract: The European Pediatric Pharmaceutical Legislation wants children to benefit more from pharmaceutical progress. In rare diseases, concerns have been raised that this legislation might damage research and stymie drug development. We discuss the role of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and its Pediatric Committee (PDCO) in the development of ivacaftor, first-in-class for cystic fibrosis (CF) patients with the G551D mutation (and eight other mutations later) and of lumacaftor and ataluren, two more potential break-through CF medications. Ivacaftor was USA-approved early 2012 and six months later in the EU. Registration was based on the same data. We analyzed these drugs’ EU pediatric investigation plans (PIPs) and compared the PIP-studies with the pediatric CF studies listed in www.clinicaltrials.gov. The ivacaftor PIP studies appear to reflect what the developer planned anyway, apart from a study in 1–23-month-olds, which has not yet started. The total negotiation time for the current PIP version was approximately 5.5 years. For companies that develop drugs in pediatric diseases, e.g., CF, PIPs represent considerable additional procedural workload with minimal or no additional benefit for the patients. New drugs for pediatric diseases should not be hampered by additional, unnecessary and costly bureaucracy, but be registered as rapidly as possible without compromising safety.
Abstract: Use of integrative medicine (IM) is prevalent in children, yet availability of training opportunities is limited. The Pediatric Integrative Medicine in Residency (PIMR) program was designed to address this training gap. The PIMR program is a 100-hour online educational curriculum, modeled on the successful Integrative Medicine in Residency program in family medicine. Preliminary data on site characteristics, resident experience with and interest in IM, and residents’ self-assessments of perceived knowledge and skills in IM are presented. The embedded multimodal evaluation is described. Less than one-third of residents had IM coursework in medical school or personal experience with IM. Yet most (66%) were interested in learning IM, and 71% were interested in applying IM after graduation. Less than half of the residents endorsed pre-existing IM knowledge/skills. Average score on IM medical knowledge exam was 51%. Sites endorsed 1–8 of 11 site characteristics, with most (80%) indicating they had an IM practitioner onsite and IM trained faculty. Preliminary results indicate that the PIMR online curriculum targets identified knowledge gaps. Residents had minimal prior IM exposure, yet expressed strong interest in IM education. PIMR training site surveys identified both strengths and areas needing further development to support successful PIMR program implementation.