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Perspective: Perspective on Pediatric Oncology
Posted 01 March 2008 | By
Pediatric oncology patients are further removed from being "small adults" than other pediatric patient populations with older counterparts. While children are affected by different forms of cancer than adults, there also exists a major difference between children and adults regarding treatment and development of new oncology therapies. The prominent variation is the concept of survival. With adult cancer patients, it is acceptable to look to immediate, five- and 10-year survival rates, along with quality of life, for the best approximations of therapeutic success. On the other hand, a child cancer patient receives treatment to be cured. A typical difference between adult and pediatric oncologists is in treatment protocols; pediatric protocols are much more vigorous, often hitting patients "as hard as possible" to achieve a successful, long-term cure.