Childhood cancer Awareness Month - Day 25

Chemo for adults given to kids

 

This is Michael. I have posted before about the wickedness of the drugs used to treat children with cancer. I cannot leave the subject. It is at the heart of the push for awareness and action for this reason: we need more research to develop new therapies for 3 primary reasons: 1/ less painful treatment for kids, with less immediate side effects of vomiting, diarrhea, extreme nausea, mouth, intestinal and anal sores; 2/ more effective treatment for kids, so that the drugs and therapies more efficiently rid the body of the cancer cells and with higher success rates;  and 3/ to find a cure to prevent cancers in children. 

Childhood cancer Awareness Fact of the Day: On average, there are five people that die per day as a result of the side effects caused by treatment received by them as a child for cancer. Heart damage, lung damage and secondary cancers are most common side effects that cause early death to those that are fortunate enough to survive the initial childhood cancer. Source: PAC2, Curechildhoodcancer.org

Why is it necessary to push for more action and more funding of research to develop new therapies? I have stated as a fact of the day previously that only 2 pediatric cancer drugs have been developed and approved in the U.S. in the past 21 years. Again I state--- Shameful. Absolutely shameful. But what are the drugs that are being used on kids with the 12 major types of kids' cancers?

Nearly all drugs currently used to treat children with cancer, with the exception of a few anti-leukemia drugs developed in the 1950s and early 1960s, were developed for adult cancers and then found “effective” to treat cancer in children. But it is true that most common types of childhood cancer are distinct from adult cancers clinically, pathologically, cytologically, and in the molecular abnormalities that underlie them (this is why oncologists of all types and pediatricians know that babies, infants, toddlers, children, preteens and teens are NOT small adults and should not be treated as if they were--- yet they are in the pediatric cancer world). If the discovery and development of new agents for childhood cancers were to capitalize on today’s science and “modern medicine” and advancements in technology, gene mapping, etc.—which in large measure it does not—there is every reason to believe that cure rates could be improved for all pediatric cancers.

Source: National Research Council, Making Better Drugs for Children with Cancer (2005) 

Consider these chemotherapy drugs which have been given to Cannon and other children with neuroblastoma and other forms of pediatric cancer:

Carboplatin--- approved by the FDA 3/3/83

Cisplatin--- approved by the FDA 7/16/99

Cyclophosphamide--- approved by the FDA 7/3/86

Doxorubicin--- approved by the FDA before 1/1/82

Etoposide--- approved by the FDA 2/22/96

Vincristine--- approved by the FDA 3/7/84

All approved for adult cancers. Not a single one initially approved for pediatric cancer. (By the way, if you are really interested in this subject matter, Google or further research any of these drugs individually and check out the toxicity levels of each. It has brought me to tears knowing I have had to ok the administration of each, several times over, to try to save Cannon’s life). The “youngest” or most recently approved chemotherapy agent? 15 years old. Really? My son had to have drugs that were developed for adults AND cause a lifetime of problems or his premature death AND are between 15 and 30 years old when we live in an age when a new iPhone comes out every year? Outrageous. Can this really be? Answer: It is. And today, several thousand kids treating for cancer, fighting like hell just to live, will receive one or more of these chemo drugs.

Maddening. Let's raise awareness, raise money, fund research and STOP this cruelty to our children.

Please help Melissa and me and all the families of children with cancer fight this fight. For Cannon and all the kids who are in the fight, please watch The Truth 365 at www.thetruth365.org and then pass it to all those who you believe might do the same. Help us raise awareness and then pledge to act and honor all the families of those children already lost to children's cancer. Awareness is the only way to start and continue the engine to improve funding for research to develop new therapies and to find a cure to end cancer in children. It can be done. It can… believe it and Stand Up for Children… Stand UP. 

Thank you.

 

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