The past decades a lot of work has been done to improve the treatment of childhood cancer and with success! The survival rate has improved to more than 80%. Because of the improved survival rate, the group of childhood cancer survivors is growing. Unfortunately, childhood cancer treatment also carries an increased risk of long-term consequences, the late effects. These late effects are associated with increased morbidity and mortality, and affect the quality of life of the survivors.
Previous research showed that survivors that had a stem cell transplantation in childhood, have a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome (a combination of overweight, hypertension, elevated blood glucose and cholesterol), vascular damage and accelerated aging.
During my PhD I will conduct a study at the LATER-outpatient clinic with survivors that had a stem cell transplantation in childhood. In this study, we will investigate how many and which patients have an increased risk of developing these late effects. Furthermore, I will look into the potential role of lifestyle factors. Gaining insight into which survivors are at higher risk of developing these late effects, gives us the opportunity to improve the follow-up care for these survivors by screening and intervening early to prevent or reduce these late effects.
Supervisors: Dr. Dorine Bresters, Dr. Saskia Pluijm and prof. Dr. Leontien Kremer