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Grant awarded to Arkansas Children’s to investigate long-term impact of cancer therapies



Little Rock, Arkansas – A study is being launched by the Arkansas Children’s Research Institute to lessen the long-term negative effects experienced by pediatric cancer survivors. The National Institutes of Health funding of more than $2,000,000,000 is responsible for everything.

The study’s principal investigator, ACRI P.H.D. Ellen Van Der Plas said that she and other medical professionals would examine how treatment for children might influence their brains.

Shorter attention spans, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating are some of the long-term adverse effects of childhood cancer. They will compare children who are the same age but do not have cancer against children throughout their first year of treatment.

“Early on in treatment I expect these kids don’t look very much different from their peers but we know from later on when they’re older they do and it must happen at some point in time, so the goal is obviously to prevent that,” Dr. Van Der Plas said.

The $2.5 million will be used for scans, devices to hold children motionless during scans, and the collection of blood samples to examine proteins linked to brain damage. In order to understand how youngsters think and make decisions, the doctors will also evaluate how they solve games and puzzles.

“Some of these kids that we’re looking at are 4 when they become survivors and they have a whole life ahead of them and that life needs to be just as good as the kids that did not have cancer,” Dr. Van Der Plas said.

According to her, the most prevalent types of childhood cancer have a very favorable prognosis if properly treated, which is why this research is crucial to enhancing the quality of life for cancer survivors.

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