The Cause

Proceeds from the World’s Longest Hockey Game Jr’s will go toward pediatric cancer research at the U of A and to support children receiving cancer treatment here in Edmonton.

the expansion of pediatric clinical trials right here in Edmonton to include specific quality of life trials

Many children who survive cancer may never go through puberty, may lose their hearing, may lose their sight, etc as a side effect of cancer treatment. While these treatments  allow the child to “survive” cancer, their lives will absolutely never be the same.  More trials examining quality of life and ways to improve it in cancer survivors are needed in Edmonton.

Pediatric brain tumour research

We are looking for different ways to monitor children with brain tumours during their treatment journey. One way is examining changes in spinal fluid to help guide us through tailoring specific treatments to individual patients, monitoring response to treatment,  and early detection of tumour progression or relapse.

Everyone who supports the World’s Longest Hockey Game Jr’s is helping to accelerate research that helps to provide  new and more effective treatments for pediatric cancer patients.

Integrating genomic and proteomic liquid biopsy approaches to better targeted therapies and increase survival in pediatric brain tumors.

Brain tumours are currently the leading cause of childhood cancer death. Over the past ten years we have seen a massive increase  in our understanding of brain tumours. However, to better understand these tumours we need a sample of the tumour itself which means a brain biopsy. We can reduce much of the risk associated with brain biopsies using “liquid biopsies” where we use blood and spinal fluid instead to look at tumour DNA. This is being done more in many adult cancers, but not for pediatric cancers. This research program is hoping to change that.

The overarching goal of the Pediatric Neuro-oncology research program is to find new ways to diagnose and monitor the treatment progress in pediatric and adolescent and young adult (AYA) brain tumours (gliomas) and ultimately improve patient outcomes. We are approaching this in three ways: using liquid biopsies (spinal fluid) to diagnose and monitor pediatric gliomas; using functional genomics to examine how genes and proteins interact and function in these tumours; and finally moving these laboratory findings into the clinical setting with clinical trials.

Dr. Nobre is on a podcast with Lea Stelter (Ben Stelter’s mom) where she talks about the focus of her research on the type of cancer Ben had. The Stelter Foundation is also supporting Dr. Nobre’s research.

Today about 85% of all children and teens survive their cancer and this has been a dramatic improvement over the last few decades.  As more children survive, it is important to look at what their quality of life is like after cancer therapy. This is done through clinical trials like the use of exercise to decrease toxicity from leukemia therapy or reducing radiation for brain tumours. Though some trials come with funding, fewer and fewer do every year. There are some trials that are available here including studies on pain during treatment, the use of exercise to decrease long term toxicity from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) therapy, sending tumor samples for genomic testing, and using less radiation in brain tumors to decrease learning issues.

Beyond those, there is a significant need for Quality of Life trials for pediatric cancer patients… many who survive cancer may never go through puberty, may lose their hearing,  may lose their sight. All of these types of side effects may allow the child to “survive” cancer, but their lives will absolutely never be the same.

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