Childhood cancer in Brazil kills twice as much as in the United States

Difficulty in early diagnosis and in accessing specialized treatment centers is the main cause for the high mortality rate from childhood cancer in Brazil. While the rate in the United States is 22 deaths per million, in Brazil the rate is 43.4 per million, that is, almost double. The data reflect the reality up to 2019 and are included in a survey on the panorama of pediatric oncology in Brazil conducted by the Desiderata Institute with the technical support of professionals from the Cancer Foundation, the National Cancer Institute and the World Health Organization’s Global Initiative on Childhood Cancer in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Unfortunately, in Brazil, there are still few centers specialized in the treatment of childhood cancer. The Pequeno Príncipe Hospital is one of these centers and offers complete treatment, from diagnosis to bone marrow transplantation, in cases where it is indicated. We also offer a complete structure of exams, including genetic ones, which greatly help in the decision as to which treatment to offer each child,” explains the head doctor of the institution’s Oncology and Hematology Service, Flora Mitie Watanabe.

This is the subject of the main article of the Pequeno Príncipe News’ tenth edition, that also presents a report about the number of COVID-19 cases assisted at Pequeno Príncipe, that from January to October 2021 was four times higher than in 2020, the first year of the pandemic. In ten months, the Hospital assisted 1,250 children and adolescents with positive diagnosis for the disease, with an increase of 163% in the monthly average of hospitalized patients. All told, 235 patients – about 20% – required hospitalization, of which 58 needed ICU. And 54% of the boys and girls who were hospitalized had no comorbidities.

At last, the third article of this Pequeno Príncipe News edition is about a research project developed by an international consortium of scientists, the COVID Human Genetic Effort, that wants to understand why some people are not contaminated by the coronavirus even after having close and prolonged contact with those diagnosed with COVID-19. “We have published an article in Nature Immunology journal that we define as conceptual: in it, the central question is: ‘along the lines of other situations where genetic variants show that there are people resistant to certain diseases, does this also happen with COVID-19?’. Based on this question, we point to ways to find this answer,” defines Carolina Prando, MD, immunologist and researcher at the Pelé Pequeno Príncipe Research Institute.

Click here and read the full-length articles in the tenth edition of the Pequeno Príncipe News in 2021.

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