Childhood Cancer

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Determining Social Risk Factors for Poor Outcomes in Pediatric Cancer Using Children’s Oncology Group Registries

Institution: 
University of Utah
Researcher(s): 
Anne Kirchhoff, PhD/MPH
Grant Type: 
Epidemiology Grants
Year Awarded: 
2019
Type of Childhood Cancer: 
General Pediatric Cancer
Project Description: 

Co-Principal Investigator: Adam L. Green, MD

Children who are Black, Hispanic, or face socioeconomic problems like poverty or no health insurance are less likely to survive cancer than others. We don’t know why this is or how to change it, so our goal is to figure out the reasons behind these disparities to make the great advances in childhood cancer care work equally for all kids. We believe one major reason for these disparities is that kids in these disadvantaged groups face barriers to care that lead to more advanced disease when they are diagnosed. We know that kids are less likely to survive when they start out with more advanced cancer. The Children’s Oncology Group (COG) is a large organization that oversees most care for childhood cancer patients in the United States; most major children’s hospitals are part of this group. COG keeps data on most patients in registries that represent the largest sources of information we have on childhood cancer patients. So far, no one has used these registries systematically to study disparities. Our study will use information from these registries to look at what factors lead to more advanced disease at diagnosis among specific childhood cancers. We will look at race, ethnicity, insurance status, socioeconomic status, and access to primary care doctors. Then, we will be able to address these key factors specifically to help more kids get diagnosed sooner and survive cancer.