Research Studies Impact of Chemotherapy-Induced Thrombocytopenia on Pediatric Cancer Treatment

Complication may require platelet transfusions and treatment modifications

CIT Study

Two pediatric hematology/oncology physicians at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center — Katherine Armstrong, M.D., and Melanie D. Degliuomini, M.D. — have published research on the impact of chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia (CIT) on the treatment of solid tumors in children.

The research article, titled “Chemotherapy-Induced Thrombocytopenia in Pediatric Oncology: Scope of the Problem and Opportunities for Intervention,” was published in the journal Pediatric Blood & Cancer.

CIT is a known hematologic complication of cancer treatment that causes a low blood platelet count, which increases the risk of bleeding, the need for platelet transfusions, and interruptions in the planned chemotherapy regimen. This retrospective study looked at the degree with which CIT impacted 150 pediatric solid tumor patents by requiring platelet transfusions and treatment modifications.

The research showed that patients receiving therapy for high-risk neuroblastoma (cancer in the nerve tissue) and localized Ewing sarcoma (bone cancer) required the most platelet transfusions, and patients receiving therapy for high- and intermediate-risk rhabdomyosarcoma (cancer in the muscle tissue) needed the greatest reduction in chemotherapy dose intensity.

The impact of CIT varied by the administered chemotherapy regimens and dose intensity of chemotherapy agents. This study demonstrated that CIT causes both marked platelet transfusion burden as well as treatment reduction and delay within certain solid tumor cohorts. These findings indicate the need for future studies aimed at reducing the burden of CIT and targeting the most at-risk populations.

Learn more about our advancements in pediatric oncology at Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health.

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