Topic of the month: Oncology

Across London, paediatric trainees and trainers are focusing on paediatric oncology. Here are some ideas to think about.

Around 1600 children are diagnosed with cancer each year, over 80% can be cured completely. The two most common childhood cancers are leukaemia and lymphomas (40%), and brain and spinal cord tumours (25%); other common cancers include embryonal tumours, Wilms tumours, neuroblastomas, and sarcomas.

All children with cancer in the UK are managed by one of 21 Principal Treatment Centres, and most also receive treatment in a local Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Unit (POSCU). Care for children with cancer and their families involves an MDT consisting of paediatric oncologists, general paediatricians, specialist nurses, haematologists, endocrinologists, radiologists, surgeons, and palliative care specialists.

There is a great deal of research activity in paediatric oncology; 60-80% of children with cancer are involved in a clinical trial during their treatment. This has helped to bring great advances in survival rates over the last 25 years.

Paediatric trainees will all be involved in caring for children with cancer; but trainees can choose to gain further experience by completing a SPIN module, or can subspecialise in paediatric oncology via Grid. Paediatric oncology is a large and varied subspecialty which offers many different careers, no two consultants will have the same job and many will have a research interest.

Paediatric Curriculum

  • Assess and initiate investigation for children with oncological or haematological presentations
  • Know the principals of cancer therapy, and the short and long term side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy
  • Know of the different types of leukaemia and lymphoma and their prognosis
  • Recognise the clinical manifestations of leukaemia and lymphoma and the immediate dangers of leukaemia in the newly presenting child
  • Manage febrile neutropenia following local network guidelines and recognise when to liaise with specialist services
  • Be aware of clinical presentation, investigation finding, treatment and prognosis of neuroblastoma, Nephroblastoma, and other solid tumours

Full curriculum at https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/system/files/protected/page/August%202016%20General%20Paediatrics%20Curriculum%20-%20KC_0.pdf

 

Courses and Resources

  • RSM Day: Oncology (including Leukaemia), Tuesday 11th January 2018
  • Paediatric Oncology Trainees Group (organised by CCLG) has biannual meetings and a variety of resources for members http://www.cclg.org.uk/POTG
  • Children Cancer and Leukaemia Group – the national association for healthcare professionals involved in caring for children with cancer, has lots of information, especially for children and families http://www.cclg.org.uk/our-information-for-patients-and-families
  • European society for paediatric oncology – has an annual conference with a research focus. https://www.siope.eu/

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