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  • Author: Mária-Adrienne Horváth x
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The Role of Supportive Therapy in Pediatric Malignancies


Childhood cancer is a major psycho-social and health problem. International study groups establish complex, efficient, and concrete Cytostatic Protocols for every cancer type. During chemotherapy patients become extremely vulnerable to infections, so it is necessary to complete the treatment with blood substitution, anti-infection medication, growth factors and other complementary products.

Materials and Methods: We studied the importance of the wide palette of adjuvant therapy near the intensive cytostatic treatment in the period of March 2014-November 2015 at the hemato-oncology department in Pediatric Clinic of Mures County Hospital.

Results: In this period we treated 20 children (9 female, 11 male) aged between 9 months-18 years. We had 15 cases of haemopathies (13 acute leukemia and two lymphomas), and five solid tumors. Packed red blood cells, platelets, and fresh frozen plasma were given in the aplastic period. A patient benefited, on average, a total of 70ml/kg packed red blood cells and 50 U platelets. For infection prophylaxis and treatment every child benefited associated infective medication.

Discussions: Packed red blood cells, platelets, and fresh frozen plasma were given to patients with a deficiency in the ability to produce normal blood cells which are temporarily worsened by chemotherapy. Antibiotic and antifungal medications are given to all febrile and neutropenic patients. We use wide spectrum antibiotics in association for preventing sepsis. Growth factors are stimulating the bone marrow to increase leukocyte number. Since introducing additional immunostimulant medication, we observed a significant decrease of infection in the aplastic period.

Conclusions: Oncology protocols use only 3-5 cytostatic drugs. Maintaining the patient’s life during the treatment, it is necessary to use a large spectrum of supportive medications.

Open access
The Relationship between Anxiety and Immunity in Pediatric Oncology Patients


Background: Pediatric onco-hematology is not a frequently encountered medical specialty, and it influences everyday life, basic activities, and the immune system, mostly through psychosocial changes, which may affect every individual and their families differently. Anxiety is the most frequently encountered mental health disorder occurring during childhood and adolescence. The effect of stress and anxiety on the immune system is suggested by the fact that stress hormones elevate proinflammatory cytokines and subsequently lower the anti-inflammatory response.

Objective: Our main objective was to analyze the relationship between anxiety disturbance and cytokine levels in oncologic pediatric patients from Târgu Mureș in order to answer the following question: does anxiety influence immunity?

Material and methods: After testing pediatric oncology patients from the Pediatrics Clinic no. 2 of Târgu Mureș, Romania with the SCARED child test, we took blood samples from each participant. IL-6, IL-10, IL-1β, IL-12p40 and TNF-α levels were evaluated with a Human Cytokine Magnetic Panel using the xMAP technique on Flexmap 3D platform (Luminex Corporation, Austin, USA). C-reactive protein levels were determined with the BN Pro Spec nephelometer with CardioPhase hsCRP (Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, GmbH, Marburg, Germany) reagent.

Results: The 46 pediatric oncology patients had 6 main diagnostic groups, the most frequent pathology was acute leukemia (58.7%) followed by malignant solid tumors (21.74%) and lymphomas (6.52%). In the anxious group (45.65%) we observed 4 of the 5 studied anxiety types: panic disorder, separation, social, and generalized anxiety. We measured the cytokine levels of all the participants from the two main groups: anxious/non-anxious. Statistical analysis (linear regression) showed statistically significant positive correlations in the anxious group related to the IL-1β and IL-6, a moderate/weak correlation related to IL-12p40, as well as a negative moderate correlation between IL-10 values in the anxious group and a positive trend in the non-anxious group.

Conclusions: Psycho-oncology is a relatively young specialty with few studies in the last two decades. IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α present high levels in anxious patients, while IL-10 and IL-12p40 have low serum levels in mental disorders. C-reactive protein levels are not influenced by anxiety.

Open access
The Care of Central Venous Catheters in the Oncopediatric Department


Introduction: Childhood cancer, with its major psycho-social and health impact, needs long-term chemotherapy. Increasing the intensity of treatment results in improved outcomes of hematological malignancies and solid tumors. As cytostatics have a vascular irritating effect and multiple peripheric venous punctures cause pain, insertion of a long-term central venous catheter (CVC) during chemotherapy is often necessary.

Materials and methods: All pediatric patients (aged below 18 years) with hematologic and malignant pathologies who underwent CVC insertion at the Pediatric Hemato-oncology Department of the County Emergency Clinical Hospital of Tîrgu Mureș in the February 2014 – May 2016 period were enrolled in the study.

Results: We recorded 24 cases who received central venous catheters, out of which 14 patients received tunneled CVC, 7 patients port CVC, and 3 patients received initially tunneled CVC which was changed with port CVC. Tunneled catheters were preserved in average for 186.06 days and portacaths for 256.6 days. For infection prophylaxis and treatment every child received adequate antibiotic medication.

Conclusions: The use of central lines in pediatric hemato-oncology is accessible and benefic not only for increasing patient comfort, but also to ease the nurses' work, who are often overburdened.

Open access