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Marita Partanen

22A. Risk and protective factors of neurocognitive development in young children with cancer

A young child who is exposed to adverse events, such as cancer diagnosis and treatment, already begins the rest of their life at a disadvantage. For example, more than 50% of children with brain tumours who were treated with cranial radiation have neurocognitive problems and lower quality of life. Also, between 11-50% of leukemia, lymphoma, or solid tumor survivors treated with surgery or chemotherapy have cognitive deficits in the long-term. In young children with cancer, however, risk factors for neurocognitive outcome are largely unknown. This is likely because pediatric cancer is a relatively rare disease and there are methodological challenges for testing the youngest children (under 4 or 5 years). For these reasons, the ability to determine which children are at risk and who needs additional assessment and intervention is challenging at this time.

The overall aim of this project is to measure and predict neurocognitive outcomes for young children with cancer, by using innovative methods to measure risk factors and to predict outcomes for an individual child. Ultimately, the results from this project will help to inform future assessment and intervention approaches for this vulnerable group of children


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