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NEW CRP: Applying Nuclear Nutrition Techniques to Improve Outcomes for Childhood Cancer in Low-and Middle-Income Countries (E43033)

New Coordinated Research Project

Deuterium dilution is a nuclear nutrition technique that can assess body composition without radiation exposure in children (Photo: S.Henrique /IAEA)

While survival rates for some childhood cancers have reached a 5-year net survival of around 90% in many high-income countries, 80% of young people with cancer live in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) where survival rates are currently only 10-30%. The global challenge in childhood cancer is to translate gains achieved in higher-income settings to all children worldwide, but it is not enough to duplicate strategies or make recommendations for care based only on consensus, quality research is needed to provide quality solutions for low resource settings. Whereas new cancer therapies may not be readily available and other solutions to improve survival may not be feasible in LMICs, a focus on nutrition support could raise the standard of care and improve clinical outcomes with simple low-cost strategies.

The IAEA is launching a new five-year Coordinated Research Project (CRP) into childhood cancer which is focused on increasing survival rates in children with cancer in LMICs through improving nutritional support. By understanding the interlinking relationships between cancer, body composition, energy balance and clinical outcomes in childhood cancer, the CRP will provide outcomes that can guide cancer centres in strengthening nutrition supportive care programmes to prevent premature deaths from childhood cancer.

The CRP will comprise seven participating teams from LMICs. Each team will bring together childhood cancer researchers with nutrition researchers and use nuclear nutrition techniques, such as dual energy absorptiometry, CT scanning, total body potassium counting or deuterium dilution (illustrated above), to address the research objectives.

CRP Overall Objective:

The overall objective is to generate evidence on how to improve survival in children with cancer in low middle-income countries through understanding the interlinking relationships between cancer, body composition, energy balance and clinical outcomes in childhood cancer.

Specific Research Objectives:

  1. To understand how cancer and treatment influences body composition and energy balance through the continuum of childhood cancer
  2. To examine the effect of body composition on clinical outcomes for childhood cancer patients
  3. To evaluate body composition and energy balance assessment techniques for childhood cancer
  4. To determine the effect of interventions on body composition and clinical outcomes in childhood cancer

How to join the CRP:

Proposals must be received no later than 3rd May 2019. Please submit your Proposal for Research Contract or Agreement by email to the IAEA’s Research Contracts Administration Section, using the appropriate template on the CRA website.

For further information related to this CRP, potential applicants should use the contact form under the CRP page.

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