Pediatric Oncology at theMednet

news Apr 13, 2020

When we started theMednet in 2014, we had a vision of a virtual community that would come together to share their knowledge, expertise, and experience with fellow oncologists. Over the years we've witnessed incredible growth and progress: over 4,000 questions have been asked and answered by more than 10,000 oncologists in the US. Each triumph has brought with it a new specialty we have been able to roll out: radiation, medical, and gynecological oncology.

Now, we are proud to introduce our community to another: pediatric oncology! This is the culmination of a months-long effort to gauge interest within the pediatric oncology community. We asked ourselves, and leading experts, would theMednet be as useful in this space as it has been for other oncologists? The answer was overwhelmingly positive, and confirmed our ambitions and ideas. Not only is pediatric oncology a vital specialty in its own space, but we've found that collaboration across specialties is important for each and every practicing oncologist! Every oncologist working in a different specialty and institution brings with them a valuable perspective, which can be utilized to better inform the treatment of their patients.

What makes pediatric oncology so unique compared to adult oncology, and therefore challenging to integrate? Pediatric oncology has a complex history in the medical world. In a paper by Gupta et al. in Cancer Med studying the treatment outcomes for Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in pediatric vs. adult centers, 5‐year event‐free survival and over all survival among AYA at pediatric vs adult centers was significantly improved. This suggests that AYA patients treated with protocols fine-tuned to their biology experience longer and stronger rates of survival.

Additionally, research by Bleyer et al. in Pediatric Blood & Cancer found that, "AYA patients with cancer have had the lowest participation rate in clinical trials than any other age group," and went on to conclude, "pediatric and adult oncologists should establish a mutual goal that was achieved in children to have clinical trials become a standard of care for AYA cancers."

Now more than ever is a vital time for collaboration in oncology. With both technology and knowledge evolving and expanding at a rapid pace, theMednet is more confident than ever in its mission to bring together experts from all fields so that all cancer patients may benefit from the latest research, from younger populations, to AYA patients, to adults. We are proud to bring you pediatric oncology to theMednet for community-wide discussion that will help shape and facilitate the future of medicine and scientific collaboration!  

Nadine Housri

Dr. Nadine Housri is the Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of theMednet and an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Yale.