9 COG Nursing Discipline
Few experiences meld the excitement of a new venture, the camaraderie of like-minded people who share a vision, and the sense that the planets have aligned to make it possible to make a difference. But this is exactly what happened for the COG Nursing Discipline during the past 10 years. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, following are a few nursing highlights:
• We partnered nurse researchers and advanced practice nurses to study Quality of Life (QOL) and disseminated our findings and developed a nursing trainee program. We partnered with the Cancer Control Committee to develop the Patient Reported Outcomes/QOL Resource Center.
• Increased nursing membership to 1,800, the largest discipline in the COG.
• Presented three nursing workshops, posted web- based learning modules, produced two COG nursing videos and created a nursing newsletter.
• Developed educational resources for patients, families, and the community including the CureSearch Family Handbook which is widely used to educate parents of children with cancer.
• Collaborated with other COG disease, discipline, and scientific committees to produce clinical care resources, including the landmark COG Long-Term Follow-Up Guidelines.
• Built an effective partnership with Association of Pediatric Hematology Oncology Nurses (APHON), publishing a COG column in each APHON newsletter, collaborating on the publication of the Pediatric Oncology Palliative Care Resource and planning a “COG track” at APHON’s annual conference.
Still, there is more critical work to be done for children’s cancer patients and their families. They teach us, inspire us, and compel us to help in every way to care for them and, hopefully, see them emerge from treatment to lives fully lived after cancer.
Kathleen S. Ruccione, MPH, RN, FAAN
Center Nursing Administrator and Co-Director HOPE Program Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
Translational Research Committee
The Translational Research Committee (TRC) has evolved from one of regulatory oversight of sample distribution and bio-pathology core to one which handles the performance, facilitation and stimulation of cross-platform and cross-disciplinary research within the Children’s Oncology Group. TRC members are directly involved in work to explain the biological mechanisms underlying the development of high risk pediatric cancers and to distribute genomic based information to researchers inside and outside of the COG.
The reason for these efforts is that a detailed mapping of transcription, DNA structural changes, DNA copy number, epigenomic profiles and proteomic and functional pathways will show important similarities and differences among various tumor types that can be used to predict outcomes, direct treatment and identify new therapeutic targets across high risk cancers. Thus, the TRC has sponsored many multidisciplinary conferences at meetings with topics including: “Mechanisms of Leukemia,” “Genome-Wide Screening of High-Risk Pediatric Cancers,” “MicroRNAs in Cancer,” and “Bioinformatic Tools for COG Genomic Data.” The TRC has also helped facilitate several genomic/ epigenomic efforts involving high risk sarcomas and AML which led to more than $5 million of support for COG based discovery projects.
This work has laid the foundation for the elucidation of the molecular characteristics of high risk cancers with the goal of developing risk-stratification tools and novel and effective therapeutic targets along with the technical means to share such information across disease types.
Robert J. Arceci, MD, PhD King Fahd Professor of Pediatric Oncology Professor of Pediatrics, Oncology & Cellular & Molecular Medicine Editor-in-Chief, Pediatric Blood & Cancer Johns Hopkins Hospital
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