What will my donation be used for?

GRANT ALLOCATION

PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS AND RESEARCH

 Project Title: Prevention is better than Cure: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Paediatric Health Model in the Children’s Cancer Setting

Grant Recipient(s): Laura Jeffrey and Rebecca Lee

Funding Type: Conference Attendance

CCRT Funding: $3000

Project Duration: 2016 - Ongoing

Historically allied health intervention is seen as an adjunct to medical care, rather than a part of routine treatment. This has led to a reactive problem-focused model of allied health intervention. The Allied Health team in the Children’s Haematology Oncology Centre (CHOC) Christchurch Hospital have commenced a trans-disciplinary pilot project which aims to support pre-existing protective and resilience factors in families and identify at-risk patients for proactive intervention.

The Children’s Cancer Research Trust supported Laura Jeffrey (Paediatric Physiotherapist) and Rebecca Lee (Health Psychologist) to attend the Australia New Zealand Children’s Haematology Oncology Group Annual Scientific Meeting in 2017 to present this unique pilot programme to their peers. 

 

L Jeffrey & R Lee. Prevention is better than cure: An interdisciplinary approach to the Paediatric Preventive Health model in the children’s cancer setting. Oral presentation at: The Australia New Zealand Children’s Haematology Oncology Group (ANZCHOG) Annual Scientific Meeting; 2017 15-17 June; Adelaide, Australia.

Project Title: The International Staging System for Paediatric Cancers Pilot

Grant Recipient(s): Danny Nam (supervised by Kirsten Ballantine and Siobhan Cross)

Funding Type: Research Project

CCRT Funding: $5750

Project Duration: October 2016 - February 2017

 

Cancer staging is an essential process for determining prognosis and is crucial for comparing outcomes between groups and over time and the identification of trends in late presentation. However, historically, there has been an international lack of complete, accurate and comparable staging information for childhood cancers.

 

The CCRT funded a 2016/2017 University of Otago Summer Studentship for the New Zealand’s Children’s Cancer Registry (NZCCR) to participate in an international pilot study to test the feasibility of the Toronto Paediatric Cancer Staging Guidelines which had recently been published. This project was undertaken by Danny Nam - a fourth year medical student - and supervised by NZCCR Manager Kirsten Ballantine and Dr Siobhan Cross.

K Ballantine, D Nam, J Aitken, D Youlden, S Gupta, L Frzier, & S Cross. A review of staging information collected by the New Zealand Children’s Cancer Registry in consideration of the Toronto paediatric cancer staging guidelines. Poster presented at: The Australia New Zealand Children’s Haematology Oncology Group (ANZCHOG) Annual Scientific Meeting; 2017 15-17 June; Adelaide, Australia.

Project Title: Cost benefit analysis of routine serological titres in reducing re-immunisation in children post-chemotherapy for childhood cancer

Grant Recipient(s): Fraser Jeffrey (supervisors: Siobhan Cross and Tony Wall)

Funding Type: Research Project

CCRT Funding: $5750

Project Duration: October 2016 - February 2017

 The CCRT funded a 2016/2017 University of Otago Summer Studentship to determine if routine serological testing at 4-6 months post-chemotherapy treatment reduced the number of vaccinations required by children and, if so, if it resulted in an overall cost saving taking into account the upfront costs of serological testing.

The study demonstrated that serological testing provided only a small reduction in the number of needle-sticks required from an average of 14 to 13 per patient and showed that the cost of serological testing was significantly greater than the cost savings from the administration of fewer vaccinations. The findings informed the release of new national guidelines for re-immunisation after cancer therapy.

F Jeffery, T Wall & S Cross. Cost benefit analysis of the use of routine serology in reducing the burden of re-immunisation in children post-chemotherapy for childhood cancer. Oral presentation at: The Australia New Zealand Children’s Haematology Oncology Group (ANZCHOG) Annual Scientific Meeting; 2017 15-17 June; Adelaide, Australia.

Project Title: Adolescent and Young Adult Malignant Bone Tumour Survival in New Zealand 2000 - 2009: A retrospective chart review

Grant Recipient: Dr George Laking

Funding Type: Research Project

CCRT Funding: $4,800

Project Duration: June 2014 - June 2015

Five-year overall survival for New Zealand adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients with malignant bone sarcoma diagnosed between 2000 and 2009 was 49%, well below benchmark AYA survival which ranged from 63-68%. The CCRT funded a research nurse to complete a retrospective chart review in order to identify predictors of AYA bone tumour survival disparities and areas for service improvement. The study, led by oncologist Dr George Laking, involved a comprehensive review of 48 fields in the medical records for all 122 AYA patients diagnosed with malignant bone tumours between January 2000 and December 2009.

G Laking, K Ballantine, M Winstanley, M PohLui De Silva, A Zhang, G Beadel, R Spearing & M Sullivan. Adolescent and Young Adult Malignant Bone Tumour Survival in New Zealand 2000 - 2009: A retrospective chart review. Oral Presentation at the International AYA Congress 2015 December 3-5; Sydney, Australia. 

Report: Adolescent and Young Adult Malignant Bone Tumour Survival in New Zealand 2000-2009: A retrospective chart review. National Child Cancer Network, Auckland. Available at:

https://ayacancernetwork.org.nz/assets/frontend/AYA_bone_tumour_June_15__2_.pdf

Project Title: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Research

Grant Recipient: Dr Atushi Yoshida

Funding Type: Professional Development

CCRT Funding: $25,000 (2010), $5,725 (2012)

 

While working at Christchurch Hospital, Dr Atsushi Yoshida, a paediatric surgeon from Japan, conducted pioneering research to create contracting smooth muscle bowel cells from stem cells. Induced pluripotent stem cells are cells that have started as fibroblasts, but are made to change to more primitive undifferentiated stem cells. These can then be manipulated to change into a completely different type of cell - such as smooth muscle cells - as in our laboratory.  It is proved relatively easy to make these cells convert into contracting cardiac cells, but our group was the first in the world to make them differentiate into sheets of co-ordinated peristalsing (contracting) smooth muscle simulating those seen in viscera.

The CCRT supported this research in collaboration with the Department of Paediatric Surgery and the University of Otago, Christchurch. The CCRT funded of a paediatric surgery workshop in 2010 and provided a travel grant for Dr Atushi Yoshida to present the study findings at the 58th British Association of Paediatric Surgeons Congress held in Belfast in July 2011.

 Yoshida, A., Chitcholtan, K., Evans, J. J., Uemura, S., & Beasley, S. W. (2014). Provision of optimal conditions for in vitro differentiation into peristaltic smooth muscle from a murine induced pluripotent stem cell line. JSM Regenerative Medicine & Bioengineering2(1), 1011.

 Yoshida, A., Chitcholtan, K., Evans, J. J., Nock, V., & Beasley, S. W. (2012). In vitro tissue engineering of smooth muscle sheets with peristalsis using a murine induced pluripotent stem cell line. Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 47(2), 329-335.

 Yoshida, A., Beasley, S., Chitcholtan, K., & Evans, J. (2011). iPS cell differentiation into gut as precursor to in vitro bowel reconstitution may obviate need for bowel transplantation. ANZ Journal of Surgery, 81.

 Yoshida, A., Maoate, K., Blakelock, R., Robertson, S., & Beasley, S. (2010). Long-term functional outcomes in children with Currarino syndrome. Pediatric Surgery International, 26(7), 677-681.

Project Title: An International Collaborative Study to Validate Biological Markers for Hepatoblastoma: Recovery of Biomarkers (DNA and RNA) from Paraffin Embedded Tissue and Development of Tissue Arrays

Grant Recipient: Rachel Purcell (PhD supervisor: Michael Sullivan)

Funding Type: Research Project

CCRT Funding: $15,000 (2010), $12,600 (2011), $59,000 (2012)

Project Duration: 2010 - 2012

 Hepatoblastoma is a relatively rare liver cancer found in infants. Twenty years ago the outcome from this cancer was poor with an overall survival of less than 30%, In 1990 the Paediatric Oncology Society established a clinical trials consortium (SIOPEL) to run a series of international clinical trials to which have led to dramatic improvements in hepatoblastoma survival.

 With the support of the SIOPEL group and under their auspices, the New Zealand research team sought tumour material to commence a series of biological studies. The CCRT provided funding to support the establishment of this international collaborative study to identify new biological markers for the diagnosis and to develop new pathways that could be targeted through molecular therapies.

Sullivan M, Purcell R, Maibach R, Zimmerman A. HGF/c-Met related activation of beta-catenin in hepatoblastoma; a potential therapeutic target for relapsed hepatoblastoma. 5th International Solid Tumour Symposium, Tubingen, (March 2014).

 Purcell, R., Childs, M., Maibach, R., Miles, C., Turner, C., Zimmermann, A., Sullivan, M., et al. (2012). Potential biomarkers for hepatoblastoma: Results from the SIOPEL-3 study. European Journal of Cancer, 48(12), 1853-1859. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2011.10.019

 Purcell, R., Childs, M., Maibach, R., Miles, C., Turner, C., Zimmermann, A., & Sullivan, M. (2011). HGF/c-Met related activation of β-catenin in hepatoblastoma. Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research, 30, 96. doi: 10.1186/1756-9966-30-96

 Purcell R, Sullivan M, Maibach R, Zimmerman A, Miles C, Turner C, Childs M. HGF/c-Met related activation of beta-catenin in hepatoblastoma. 43rd Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP). Pediatric Blood and Cancer (2011) (57)

Project Title: Hepatoblastoma microRNA study: A genome-wide analysis of microRNA expression in hepatoblastoma

Grant Recipient: Dr Michael Eccles

Funding Type: Research Project

CCRT Funding: $18,336 (2015), $58,438 (2016)

Project Duration: 2014 - 2016

 

Hepatoblastoma is a rare liver cancer occurring in childhood. Since the establishment of an international clinical trials consortium by SIOPEL in 1990, there has been a dramatic improvement in hepatoblastoma survival. However, the outlook is still poor for some patients with highly aggressive tumours, or who are left with residual disease after the initial removal of the solid tumour. In contrast, a proportion of patients who survive have ongoing debilitating effects from aggressive chemotherapy, and potentially the tumour could have been treated less aggressively to mitigate the debilitating consequences of treatment. Classifying patients ahead of time into those patients who need aggressive therapy, versus those needing less aggressive therapy would potentially be helpful. In this project we focused on identifying biological markers relating to tumour aggressiveness with this purpose in mind.

Leichter, A. L., Sullivan, M. J., Eccles, M. R., & Chatterjee, A. (2017). MicroRNA expression patterns and signalling pathways in the development and progression of childhood solid tumours. Molecular Cancer16(1), 15. doi: 10.1186/s12943-017-0584-0

 Leichter, A. L., Purcell, R. V., Sullivan, M. J., Eccles, M. R., & Chatterjee, A. (2015). Multi-platform microRNA profiling of hepatoblastoma patients using formalin fixed paraffin embedded archival samples.GigaScience4, 54. doi: 10.1186/s13742-015-0099-9

 Chatterjee A., Leichter A. L., Fan V., Tsai P., Purcell R. V., Sullivan M. J., & Eccles M. R. (2015). Erratum: A cross comparison of technologies for the detection of microRNAs in clinical FFPE samples of hepatoblastoma patients. Scientific Reports, 5, 13505. doi: 10.1038/srep13505

 Chatterjee, A., Leichter, A. L., Fan, V., Tsai, P., Purcell, R. V., Sullivan, M. J., & Eccles, M. R. (2015). A cross comparison of technologies for the detection of microRNAs in clinical FFPE samples of hepatoblastoma patients. Scientific Reports5, 10438. doi: 10.1038/srep10438