Hot Topics in Pediatric Oncology: Updates from the Children’s Oncology Group (C217)

3:30 – 4:30 pm Friday, October 29

coglogoImprovements in patient care occur when new research findings are moved into practice. The average length of time for this translation, however, is 17 years. Within the past 3 years, the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) has produced 248 publications (about 83 per year).

This research productivity is impressive but makes it difficult for anyone person to stay informed. The purpose of this presentation is to assist with the dissemination of COG-related research results by summarizing five recently completed studies with high relevance for nursing practice:

  • Article 1: Prevention of infection, specifically central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) is a top priority for children receiving cancer treatment. Many institutions implemented a practice of daily chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) baths in children undergoing cancer therapy to prophylactically prevent CLABSI. Zerr et al. (2020) published a randomized controlled trial (177 subjects) exploring the use of daily CHG bathing in a double-blind placebo-controlled trial for childhood cancer patients. The rate of CLABSI in the CHG experimental group was higher than that in the control group (p = .049). This study does not support the use of CHG bathing in children with cancer.
  • Article 2: Historically, children treated for standard-risk B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia have received vincristine (VCR) and dexamethasone (DEX) pulses every 4 weeks during maintenance therapy. Side effects from these agents are common. Angiolillo et al. (2021) published results from COG AALL0932, which explored survival outcomes in 2,364 children randomized in a 2 × 2 factorial design to receive VCR/DEX every 12 weeks (vs. every 4 weeks) with a methotrexate (MTX) starting dose of 20/mg/m2 or 40 mg/m2, once weekly during maintenance. Every 4 weeks VCR/DEX pulses and the lower (20/mg/m2) starting dose of MTX maintained excellent outcomes.
  • Results from three additional 2021 COG publications will be discussed, along with specific implications for nursing practice related to caring for childhood cancer patients.