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Type E – Prof Jeannette Parkes – Paediatric Oncology

A travel grant was awarded to Prof Jeannette Parkes of Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital to attend the Annual Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) Conference in Kyoto, Japan from 16 to 19 November 2018 as a Paediatric Radiation Oncology Society (PROS) Exco committee member, Paediatric Oncology in Developing Countries (PODC) working group co-chair, to take forward the business agenda of PODC and also to chair a session for PROS.

The major areas of study and how the visit have contributed to the understanding and/or management of cancer

Every other year (including 2018) the annual SIOP meeting is combined with the PROS meeting. 2018 was a combined meeting.

One of the critical sub-committees of SIOP is devoted to paediatric oncology in low and middle income countries (PODC). This sub-committee, chaired by Prof Alan Davidson from Red Cross Children’s Hospital and Prof Sandra Luna-Fineman, has several working groups. One of the working groups is the International Paediatric Radiation Oncology Society (PROS)’s low and middle income group (LMIC) which Prof Parkes co-chair. PROS LMIC has the agenda of:

  • Improving Paediatric radiotherapy practice in low and middle income countries (LMIC)
  • Co-ordinating teaching and training of Paediatric Radiotherapy in LMIC
  • Providing advocacy support for Radiation Oncology professionals working in LMIC

The main objectives this year for PROS LMIC:

  1. To co-ordinate (together with PODC) a global mapping project outlining the gaps in Paediatric Oncology and Paediatric Radiation Oncology worldwide.
  2. To run a symposium at PROS (Bangkok 2019). Prof Parkes was responsible for this session.
  3. To take an active role in providing speakers at SIOP Asia and SIOP Africa 2019 (Prof Parkes will speak at SIOP Africa in Egypt in April 2019).

SIOP is also where the different working groups of SIOP PODC meet to discuss objectives and projects for the upcoming period.

Prof Alan Davidson and Prof Parkes are currently involved in adapted treatment protocol development for the PODC (Paediatric Oncology for developing countries) protocols through SIOP/PROS. Good quality radiotherapy is critical in order to avoid side effects in survivors of children’s cancers.

Current projects:

1. Craniopharyngioma

2. Intracranial germ cell tumours (This group met at SIOP Kyoto to dicuss article outline and the recent survey)

We expect these articles to be published in Paediatric Blood and Cancer 2019.

Published in the last year:

1. SIOP PODC Adapted Treatment Guidelines for Low Grade Gliomas in Low and Middle Income Settings. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2017; Dec supplement. Laila Hessissen*, Jeannette Parkes*, Nisreen Amayiri*, Naureen Mushtaq*, Nongnuch Sirachainan*, Yavuz Anacak, Dipayan Mitra, Anthony Figaji, Antoinette Schouten-van Meeteren, Michael Sullivan, Alan Davidson, Hester Burger, Eric Bouffet**, Simon Bailey**

2. Recommendations for the Treatment of Children with Radiotherapy in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC) (A Position Paper from the PROS-LMIC (Pediatric Radiation Oncology Society), PODC (Pediatric Oncology in Developing Countries) Working Group of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP)
Pediatr Blood Cancer 2017; Dec supplement. Jeannette Parkes, Clayton Hess, Hester Burger, Yavuz Anacak, Verity Ahern, Scott C. Howard, Moawia Elhassan, Soha Ahmed, Mithra Ghalibafian, Ahmed Nadeem Abbasi, Bilal Mazhar Qureshi, Mohamed Zhagloul, Eduardo Zubizarreta, Pierre Bey, Alan Davidson, Eric Bouffet, Natia Esiashvili

In addition WHO is about to start a launch of several working groups looking at taking issues in Paediatric Oncology to governments in Africa.

Prof Parkes will be part of the WG2 aimed at looking at Access to technology and drugs. These working groups were discussed and finalised in Kyoto.

Because of Prof Parkes’ involvement with adapted treatment regimens she was invited to contribute to two recently published text books.

1. Book title: Pediatric radiation Oncology (Springer) 2018
Editors: Merchant, T and Kortmann, R
ISBN 978-3-319-43545-9
i. Rare Pediatric solid tumors (with Jeffrey Buchsbaum and Thanushree Naidoo)
ii. Pediatric radiotherapy in low and middle income countries (With Natia Eshiasvilli)

2. Book title: Brain tumors in children (Springer) 2018
ISBN 978-3-319-43205-2
Editors: Gajjar,A, Reaman, G, Racadio, J, Smith F
Chapter: Global challenges in neuro-oncology (With Simon Bailey)

In addition, Prof Parkes was able to attend several PROS and SIOP sessions and report back on important lectures to the recently convened Paediatric Brain Tumour workshop at the University of Cape Town.

Prof Parkes also chaired a session on total body irradiation.

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