In the first study of its kind, St. Baldrick’s Supportive Care Grant Recipient Kathleen Ruccione and her team harnessed the power of the MRI to examine a harmful consequence of childhood cancer treatment — iron overload. Support researchers like Kathleen in their vital work on childhood cancer.
When kids battle cancer, blood transfusions are often a life-saving treatment. But excess iron from transfusions can settle in the liver, pancreas and heart, with harmful effects for childhood cancer survivors
, especially when coupled with consequences from chemotherapy. Called iron overload, the condition presents few symptoms before the damage is done. The key is to monitor and treat kids before it takes a toll.
Kathleen Ruccione, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, or CHLA, wants her St. Baldrick’s-funded study to encourage just that — the development of a protocol to catch iron overload early, so childhood cancer survivors can live long, healthy lives.
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