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First of its kind clinic will screen children who are most susceptible to childhood cancersHOUSTON,
Jan. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Texas Children's Cancer Center announced a new, first of its kind, Childhood Cancer Prevention and Screening Clinic which will screen and follow children who are at an elevated risk for developing childhood cancer. This new clinic will reassure families of children with genetic conditions such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome and Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome which predispose individuals to childhood cancer, as well as children with other conditions strongly associated with pediatric cancer, such as hemihypertrophy, where one side or part of one side of the body is enlarged.
"This new clinic will allow us to centralize the cancer screening services for children who have been diagnosed with a predisposition to cancer through a medical evaluation from a geneticist or another physician experienced with these conditions," said Dr. Surya Rednam, pediatric oncologist at Texas Children's Cancer Center and director of the new clinic. "Using cancer screening methods based on the latest medical evidence and tailored to the needs of each child, we can identify tumors sooner in these children, allowing for treatments to be implemented earlier, ultimately leading to improved survival rates," said Rednam, who is also an instructor in pediatric hematology/oncology at
Baylor College of Medicine (BCM).
Detecting tumors earlier may also allow for less intensive treatments. For example, with earlier detection, a less aggressive surgery may be performed or the dose of radiation may be decreased or even avoided entirely, which would lessen treatment-related chronic health issues.
The new clinic is part of Texas Children's Cancer Center's Genetics Program. Most patients will first be seen by the Cancer Genetics Clinic team to be evaluated for genetic risk factors. Those children found to be at an increased risk of developing childhood cancer will then be followed long-term in the new clinic, using screening guidelines developed for their specific cancer risks. Since opening, this clinic has seen 30 patients who were identified as having an increased risk for childhood cancer.