Paeds News Archive 2015

 


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What Australia got right about cannabis in 2015 and very, very wrong

2015 was a big year for weed in Australia, with medicinal use and bizarre sloth-starring anti-drug campaigns taking centre stage.
Originally appeared on Mashable Australia December 31, 2015.


Leading-edge research set to improve outcomes for kids with cancer

UNSW childhood cancer researchers have been awarded close to $4.5 million to fund groundbreaking new research set to significantly improve the outcomes for children with cancer.
UNSW Conjoint Professor Murray Norris and his team at the Children’s Cancer Institute are extending their work on molecular targeted therapies, which are expected to improve treatment options and survival rates for children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).
The second project, led by UNSW Associate Professor Claire Wakefield, Program Leader at the Kids Cancer Centre, Sydney Children’s Hospital, will help childhood cancer patients and their families with the ongoing survivorship issues they face.
Originally appeared in UNSW Newsroom December 27, 2015.


Children injured at trampoline parks

The warning is about as ominous as they come for children, with risks including serious injury and death.
Paediatric surgery clinical fellow Chris Mulligan said the types of injuries that occur at trampoline parks are different to those that occur in backyard trampolines, which are typically broken bones from children who have fallen onto the ground.
Originally appeared in Sydney Morning Herald December 27, 2015.


$4.5 million to be spent on research for children’s cancer treatments

CHILDREN who survive cancer are being left with lifelong health problems almost as debilitating as the disease they conquered so $4.5 million is being spent on new research to discover less invasive treatments.
Professor Murray Norris and his team at Children’s Cancer Institute will receive funding to extend their work on molecular targeted therapies, expected to improve treatment options and survival rates for children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).
Originally appeared in Adelaide Now December 18, 2015.


Professor Maria Kavallaris one of ‘The Knowledge Nation 100’

Professor Maria Kavallaris from Children’s Cancer Institute has been recognised as one of ‘The Knowledge Nation 100’ - Australia’s top 100 “visionaries, intellects, founders and game changers” who will help shape the country’s future prosperity.
Originally appeared on CCI website December 10, 2015.


True cancer clusters “very rare”

Cancer clusters are almost always not due to a common exposure factor, but are usually a chance clustering of cases, experts said at a special session on the phenomenon at the COSA conference.
The handling of the well-known Toowong ABC Cluster in Brisbane was mentioned by two Australian experts: Professor Bernard Stewart of UNSW and Professor Tim Driscoll of the University of Sydney.
Originally appeared in Oncology Update November 23, 2015.

Multi-Site Musculoskeletal Pain Linked to Restless Legs Syndrome

Recent research indicates that pain disorders, such as fibromyalgia and migraine, are associated with restless legs syndrome, suggesting a shared pathphysiology. Now, data published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders indicate a strong link between restless legs syndrome and multi-site musculoskeletal pain.
For the current study, David Champion, MD, of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues analyzed data from a cohort of participants from the Western Australia Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study who were followed for 22 years.
Originally appeared in Neurology Adviser November 10, 2015.


Health care workers protest refugee detention

More than 1,000 health care workers and students protested at a number of hospitals across Australia on 30 October against the federal government’s immigration policy.
Speaking to Red Flag, Karen Zwi, a specialist in refugee health at UNSW, insisted that the protest was intended as a serious health message to politicians, who have refused to act on the overwhelming evidence that detention harms children.
Originally appeared on Red Flag November 10, 2015.


International Team of Researchers Reports Promising Results in Study of Pediatric Neuroblastoma

There has been great progress in recent decades in the treatment of pediatric cancers, with high cure rates possible today for several childhood malignancies.
The CCIA’s Daniel Carter, PhD, Glenn Marshall, MD, and co-authors report that they have identified a new treatment approach for a highly aggressive and usually fatal subtype of neuroblastoma, a cancer of nerve cells that is one of the most frequent solid tumors in children.
Originally appeared on Newswise November 6, 2015.


Experimental drug giving hope to kids with cancer

Australian scientists have published new findings into an experimental drug that could help eradicate one of the most common childhood cancers.
But research by the Children's Cancer Institute of Australia (CCIA) has revealed how the cancer progresses and how an experimental drug could hold the key to interrupting its progress.
"We've known for some time that one gene has been a driver in that cancer," one of the study's authors Professor Glenn Marshall said.

Originally appeared on SBS November 5, 2015.


Neuroblastoma: Researchers identify experimental drug CBL0137 that combats common childhood cancer

Australian scientists have identified an experimental drug with the potential to combat one of the worst childhood cancers.
Professor Glenn Marshall, director of the Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children's Hospital and an author of the study, said the drug was used in conjunction with other treatments.
Originally appeared on ABC News November 5, 2015


A way to target the Achilles heel of neuroblastoma

Australian scientists have identified a critical molecular ‘feedback loop’ that helps initiate and drive neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system in children that is triggered in embryonal nerve cells.
Dr Daniel Carter and Professor Glenn Marshall focused on the genetic and molecular mechanisms behind the feedback loop, and its interruption by CBL0137.
Professor Michelle Haber, Professor Murray Norris, Dr David Ziegler and Jayne Murray focused on the therapeutic potential of CBL0137, both as a single agent and in combination with other drugs.
Originally appeared on CCI website November 5, 2015.


Sydney doctors walk off the job in protest at detention of children

Doctors and staff at Sydney's two children's hospitals will stage a joint protest on Friday to raise awareness of the serious damage being done to their child patients who are being held in immigration detention.
Paediatricians David Isaacs, from Westmead Children's Hospital, and Karen Zwi, from the Children's Hospital at Randwick, told Fairfax they could no longer condone the increasing damage being done to their patients.
Originally appeared in Sydney Morning Herald October 29, 2015.


Overindulgence in processed meat, red meat increases your cancer risk

Processed meat, including bacon, has been classified as causing cancer in humans while red meat could also be a culprit, according to a new report by the World Health Organization released today.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organisation (WHO), convened a working group of 22 international experts, led by UNSW Conjoint Professor Bernard Stewart, to look at the issue.
Originally appeared on UNSW Newsroom October 27, 2015.


Australian state government announces medicinal cannabis trial

The New South Wales (NSW) state government announced on Tuesday, Oct. 27, it would begin trials of cannabis-based medicines for children with severe epilepsy starting next year, subject to ethical approval.
Originally appeared on Mashable October 27, 2015.


Bernard Stewart: Meat increasing risk of cancer?

There's been plenty of talk about this one today... with a prescription from world health authorities to take bacon and sausages off the breakfast plate.
Professor Bernard Stewart is with the University of New South Wales, and he chaired the group which carried out the review for the World Health Organisation.
Originally appeared on Newstalk ZB October 27, 2015.


Not everything gives you cancer, but eating too much processed meat certainly can

Yesterday, the cancer arm of the The World Health Organization released its evaluation on how likely red and processed meats are to cause cancer.
Author: Conjoint Professor Bernard Stewart
Originally appeared in The Conversation October 27, 2015.


Australians should limit but not stop eating red meat, say experts

World Health Organisation finds processed meats such as sausages and ham carry an increased risk of bowel cancer, and red meat ‘probably’ does too.
University of New South Wales professor, Bernard Stewart, who chaired the IARC review group, said the evidence did not support abstinence from red meat.
Originally appeared in The Guardian October 27, 2015.


What 6 Australian scientists say about ‘processed meat causes cancer’ claims

The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has released the findings of a major review of previous studies into the links between red and processed meats and cancer, concluding that processed meats are carcinogenic, and the alarming headlines have a lot of people freaking out.
Professor Bernard Stewart, conjoint professor with the School of Women’s and Children’s Health at the University of New South Wales and chief scientific advisor for the Cancer Council Australia. He also chaired the committee which conducted the review for WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, and was the single Australian involved in the review.
Originally appeared in Business Insider Australia October 27, 2015.


World first as NSW trials medical cannabis on children with severe epilepsy

NSW children who suffer from severe epilepsy will, for the first time in the world, trial a new cannabis-derived drug and have access to a secure supply of medicinal cannabis from early 2016.
Research will be overseen by John Lawson, who said that the government had been "incredibly brave" to back the use of cannabis in children's health.
Dr Lawson added the medicines do not come without risks and underlined that the compounds in medicinal cannabis are not the same as those found in street cannabis.
Originally appeared in Sydney Morning Herald October 27, 2015.


Cancer expert to continue eating bacon, ham and salami despite WHO health warning

The Australian cancer expert who chaired the World Health Organisation (WHO) committee which says processed meat can give you cancer says he will continue to eat salami, bacon and ham.
Professor Bernard Stewart, chief scientific advisor for the Cancer Council Australia, chaired the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) committee which looked at 800 studies from around the world and concluded there was "sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer".
Originally appeared on ABC News October 24, 2015.


Surprise funding boost for child cancer scientists

Scientists at the Children’s Cancer Institute in Sydney have received a surprise funding boost - not from the government, but from charity groups and parents who have lost children to a devastating form of cancer.
For the scientists at the Children's Cancer Institute, the extra funding will allow them to test new drugs to stop brain stem tumours.  "We have identified a number of drugs and we really hope to be able to take them to the clinic as soon as possible," Maria Tsoli from the Children's Cancer Institute told 7 News.
Originally appeared on 7 News October 24, 2015.


Our finest researchers among finalists in The Australian Innovation Challenge

A team of inspirational child cancer researchers – Professors Glenn Marshall, Michelle Haber and Murray Norris – have been selected as finalists in the Health category of The Australian Innovation Challenge, announced in The Australian newspaper today.
Originally appeared on CCI website October 24, 2015


Cancer patient Tessa Calder strikes a pose with IV pole to bring cheer to others during chemotherapy

A 21-year-old medical student has turned to photographic fun to bring some cheer to others during her chemotherapy.
Originally appeared in ABC News October 13, 2015.


An academic love story, two prestigious scholarships and a trip to Cambridge

Twelve years ago Brent O'Carrigan and Aditi Vedi met while studying medicine at UNSW.
Originally appeared in UNSW Newsroom September 30, 2015.


Professor Maria Kavallaris one of The Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence 2015

Professor Maria Kavallaris, Head of the Tumour Biology & Targeting Program at Children’s Cancer Institute and founding Director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at UNSW Australia, has been named one of The Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence 2015.
Originally appeared on CCI website September 24 2015.


Five ways science can help you raise healthy children

There are countless parenting questions that science can’t answer: “is it gross to eat food my child spat out?”, “why do my kids hate wearing pants?” and, of course, “when they grow up, will my kids remember how much I loved them, or just that I made them wear pants?”.
Author: Dr Chris Elliot
Originally appeared in The Conversation September 18 2015.


RBA's Glenn Stevens signs off $15m gift

The Financial Markets Foundation for Children, chaired by Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens, has given $5 million each to two top universities – Sydney and UNSW – to fund new chairs in child health, following up on a similar $5 million gift to the University of Melbourne.
Originally appeared in Australian Financial Review September 14 2015.


Children with cancer at centre of Future Fertility Research Team efforts

FOUR young boys with compassion and understanding beyond their years are calling on families to join them on Sunday for a special cause.
Originally appeared in Manly Daily September 11, 2015.


$2m to fast-track new drugs into clinical trials for childhood acute leukaemia

New drugs to treat children with aggressive cancers will be fast-tracked into clinical trials thanks to $2 million awarded to the Children’s Cancer Institute.
UNSW Associate Professor Richard Lock, Head of CCI’s Leukaemia Biology Program, will use the funding to test drugs in preclinical models of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer.
Originally appeared on UNSW Newsroom September 9, 2015.


Little Isla on the mend after helping hand from Randwick Kids Cancer Centre trial

SNORING in your sleep is usually nothing to get in a huff over. For little Isla it was sign of something much more sinister.
A fundraiser for Randwick’s Kids Cancer Centre will be held on September 12. Pictured is Professor Glenn Marshall.
Originally appeared in Southern Courier September 9, 2015.


Support for fast-tracking new drugs into clinical trials for childhood acute leukemia

Children's Cancer Institute welcomes its inclusion, by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI), in a systematic program of drug evaluation in childhood cancer.
Children's Cancer Institute, under the direction of Principal Investigator, Professor Richard Lock, Head of the Leukaemia Biology Program, has been awarded close to US$2 million for 5 years under the Pediatric Preclinical Testing Consortium (PPTC), created by NCI to prioritise and fast-track new drugs into clinical trials in children with aggressive cancers.
Originally appeared in EurekAlert September 8, 2015.


Zero Childhood Cancer

Yesterday, the Sydney Children's Hospital Network together with Children's Cancer Institute launched an excited initiative to tackle the most serious cases of infant, childhood and adolescent cancer.
Originally appeared on Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation website September 4, 2015.


New personalised cancer treatment for children

A new treatment for children diagnosed with cancer is offering fresh hope.
Professor Michelle Haber, of the Children's Cancer Institute, has helped launch a new way of treating children's cancer.
"Zero Childhood Cancer, a national personalised medicine program for children with cancer, will give hope to these particularly vulnerable children and young people who are at the highest risk."
Originally appeared on SBS September 2, 2015.


World first Sydney trial aims to eradicate children's cancer by growing tumours in lab, testing treatments

Scientists in Sydney hope a revolutionary new trial will help eradicate cancer as a cause of death for children in Australia. Every year, 950 infants, children and adolescents in Australia are diagnosed with cancer and nearly three die each week.
"When children relapse — or they have one of these very drug-resistant cancers — there is very little doctors can do," Professor Michelle Haber, the executive director of the Children's Cancer Institute said.
Originally appeared in ABC News September 2, 2015.


Australian First: Zero Childhood Cancer Program - Personalised medicine program aims to push childhood cancer survival rates to 100%

Children’s Cancer Institute and Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick (part of The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network) are proud to announce one of the most exciting childhood cancer research initiatives ever undertaken in Australia, to tackle the most serious cases of infant, childhood and adolescent cancer. Launched today at Children’s Cancer Institute, ‘Zero Childhood Cancer’ gives hope to children with the highest risk of treatment failure or relapse.
“This is a very exciting initiative that will revolutionise the way in which treatment decisions about childhood cancer will be made,” said Children’s Cancer Institute’s Executive Director Professor Michelle Haber AM.
Originally appeared on CCI website September 2, 2015.


Zero Childhood Cancer program launched

Children at the highest risk of dying from their cancer are the target of an ambitious new Australian research program.
Originally appeared on 9 News September 2, 2015.


Australian-first program aims to eliminate childhood cancer deaths

Nikki Quinn does not know why she was the one to survive childhood cancer when so many of her friends did not, but it eats her up.
Children's Cancer Institute executive director Michelle Haber​ said the initiative was the first of its type and had been made possible by the mapping of the human genome in 2003 – originally a prohibitively expensive technology, but now cheap enough to make it feasible. Originally appeared in Sydney Morning Herald September 2, 2015.


New initiative to tailor treatment programs for most serious cancer cases in children

In Sydney today, cancer specialists launched the Zero Childhood Cancer initiative with a goal for all children with cancer to survive the ordeal.
Professor Michelle Haber is interviewed.
Originally appeared in ABC Radio 'The World Today' September 2, 2015.


Computer decision system aided detection of invasive fungal infections

Implementation of a computer decision support system improved the accuracy in detecting invasive fungal infection risk in pediatric hematology/oncology patients, according to a recent study.
“The burden for patients and costs to healthcare facilities associated with invasive fungal infections emphasize the need for invasive fungal infection surveillance and rational use of antifungal agents in clinical practice,” Adam Bartlett, BSc, MBBS, of the department of infectious diseases at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Australia, and colleagues wrote. “This study demonstrates the superiority of a computer decision support system-based antimicrobial stewardship program to capture invasive fungal infections in a pediatric hematology/oncology inpatient cohort compared with routine hospital diagnostic coding.”
Originally appeared in Healio September 1, 2015.


5 Things You Should Know About Oncofertility

Originally appeared in Huffington Post August 27, 2015.


Professor Maria Kavallaris appointed to NHMRC Research Committee

The CEO of the NHMRC Professor Anne Kelso, today announced the appointment of Professor Maria Kavallaris, Head of the Tumour Biology & Targeting Program at Children's Cancer Institute, to the Research Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Originally appeared on CCI website August 25, 2015.


Clothes carry germs into Newborn ICU

Parents and other people who come to visit babies in the newborn intensive care unit are sometimes carrying a potentially deadly germ on their clothing, researchers report.
"The aim of this study was to identify potential sources of transmission of RSV in the NICU to better inform infection control strategies," said Dr. Nusrat Homaira of the University of New South Wales in Australia, who presented the findings to the International Conference on Emerging and Infectious Diseases in Atlanta this week.
Originally appeared in NBC News August 25, 2015.


UNSW experts appointed to NHMRC committees

Australia's peak health and medical research funding body has drafted UNSW experts in big data, assisted reproductive technology and research innovation to help shape the future of Australia’s research sector.
UNSW Professor Maria Kavallaris,, the co-director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine and Program Head at the Children’s Cancer Institute, has been appointed to the NHMRC Research Committee.
Originally appeared on UNSW Newsroom August 25, 2015.


'My baby could barely breathe': A mother's terrifying account of having a baby born with chronic asthma - and how doctors could find nothing wrong with her

Parents of young children suffering respiratory difficulties often find themselves frustrated due to lack of a diagnosis.
'We cannot test lung function in children under five because they are not able to coordinate their breath with the spirometry lung function machine properly,' respiratory paediatrician Professor Adam Jaffe said.
Originally appeared in Daily Mail Australia August 24, 2015.


Personal clothing may spread respiratory infections within the NICU

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which is the leading cause of childhood respiratory hospitalizations among premature babies, can be detected from the clothes worn by caregivers/visitors who are visiting infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), according to research being presented at the International Conference on Emerging and Infectious Diseases in Atlanta, Georgia.
"The aim of this study was to identify potential sources of transmission of RSV in the NICU to better inform infection control strategies," said Dr. Nusrat Homaira, Ph.D. researcher, from UNSW, Australia. During periods of seasonal heightened activity there is an increase in hospital admission due to RSV, which may put the premature infants at risk of respiratory infection.
Originally appeared in EurekAlert August 24, 2015.


The truth about why doctors aren’t diagnosing asthma in babies and toddlers

Australia children under five who suffer wheezing attacks aren’t being diagnosed with asthma - even if they end up in hospital struggling to breathe.
Respiratory paediatrician Professor Adam Jaffé reports that wheezing is quite common in young children, whose lung function cannot be tested because they aren’t able to co-ordinate their breath properly with a lung function machine.
Originally appeared in Australian Women's Weekly August 17, 2015.


How to save a life: Knowing CPR saves more children from near drownings, new study reveals

A CHILD is four times more likely to survive a near drowning if parents know CPR and start it straight away, a new study has found.
Professor Danny Cass, Trauma Surgeon at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, said the study showed early intervention was a lifesaver.
Originally appeared on News.com.au August 16, 2015.


Jackman and Furness get behind program to help sick kids with schooling

Actors Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness have lent their support to a new education program aimed at keeping sick children up-to-date with their school work.
Long periods of time in hospital often meant children missed out on extended amounts of school.
“In many ways it’s a side effect in the treatment of cancer,” Kids Cancer Centre Director Professor Glenn Marshall said.
Originally appeared on SBS August 5, 2015.


Paediatric service to link to Sydney’s existing children’s hospitals

THERE are plans to expand Sydney’s children’s hospital network, with a connecting service in Liverpool.
Since taking up a management role at the South Western Local Health District, Paul Chay has been agitating to improve health services provided to children.
Originally appeared in Liverpool Leader July 31, 2015.


Jayden beats cancer odds

JAYDEN Stone was four months shy of his second birthday when he was diagnosed with cancer and given a 10 per cent of chance of celebrating the milestone.
CCI executive director Michelle Haber said ongoing medical research was important to one day finding a cure for cancer
Originally appeared in Fremantle Gazette July 14, 2015.


Promising drug for childhood acute leukaemia – where to next?

A new Australian study shows that a recently-developed drug, already used safely in adult leukaemia clinical trials1, holds great promise for some children with an aggressive form of cancer known as acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).
Professor Richard Lock and Dr Donya Moradi Manesh from Children’s Cancer Institute have shown that a drug known as PR-1042 is effective against laboratory models of aggressive T-ALL.
Originally appeared on Children's Cancer Institute website July 10, 2015.


New drug shows promise for treating relapsed childhood leukaemia

After testing 70 different drugs over 10 years, Australian cancer researchers have discovered a new drug that holds great promise for treating children with an aggressive form of leukaemia.
UNSW Conjoint Professor Richard Lock and Dr Donya Moradi Manesh, based at the Children’s Cancer Institute, have shown that a drug known as PR-1042 is effective against laboratory models of aggressive T-ALL.
Originally appeared in UNSW Newsroom July 10, 2015.


UNSW co-hosts International Nanomedicine Conference

Scientists, engineers and clinicians are delivering 3D printed bionics and novel electroactive materials that can communicate with muscles and nerves; they’re reprogramming cells and repairing tissues; and they’re synthesising functional nanoparticles to swim through blood and deliver drugs. Welcome to the sixth International Nanomedicine Conference.
Originally appeared in UNSW Newsroom June 30, 2015.


PBAC tweaks asthma fixed dose combo listing

The PBAC has recommended changes to the listing for an asthma fixed dose combination (FDC), but there are doubts as to whether they will stem over-prescribing.
“We estimate that maybe 5% of children should have a fixed dose combination, but what we are seeing in fact is that a large number are being started on a fixed dose combination,” says Professor Adam Jaffé, spokesperson for the National Asthma Council.
Originally appeared in Respiratory Update June 30, 2015.


Coeliac–diabetes link should inform screening

Children with type 1 diabetes have high rates of coeliac disease and should be tested from the time of diagnosis, according to recommendations from an Australian expert group.

Pham-Short, A; Donaghue, KC; Ambler, G; Phelan, H; Twigg, S; & Craig, ME. Screening for Celiac Disease in Type 1 Diabetes: A Systematic Review. Pediatrics, 2015, 136 (1): e170-176.

Originally appeared in Endocrinology Update June 22, 2015.


Asthma alert as deaths spark action

A spike in children’s asthma deaths has sparked a leading specialist to call for mandatory training for teachers in NSW schools in how to deal with the deadly respiratory disease.
Sydney Children’s Hospital paediatrician Adam Jaffe told The Saturday Telegraph asthma needed to be taken as seriously as food
allergies - particularly nuts - in primary and high schools.
Originally appeared in Daily Telegraph June 20, 2015.


Women warriors fighting a deadly disease nominated for Pride of Australia

THEY are two cancer crusaders spearheading the fight against the killer disease — one tackling Australia’s most insidious melanoma threat and the other shining a light on the fertility plight facing patients.
Leaders in their fields, Sydney doctors Georgina Long and Antoinette Anazodo have both been fittingly nominated for Pride of Australia Awards honouring their important work.
Originally appeared in The Daily Telegraph June 17, 2015.


Leaders in the war on cancer

THEY are two cancer crusaders spearheading the fight against the killer disease - one tackling Australia's most insidious melanoma threat and the other shining a light on the fertility plight facing cancer patients.
Leaders in their fields, Sydney doctors Georgina Long and Antoinette Anazodo have both been fittingly nominated for Pride of Australia Awards honouring their important work.
Originally appeared in Daily Telegraph June 15, 2015.


Plastic surgeon treats congenital deformities in children changing lives in Sydney and overseas

PLASTIC surgeons work on every limb and every organ but still the specialty is misunderstood, even by other doctors.
In 2007 Michael McGlynn, from Lane Cove, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to medicine as a clinical plastic surgeon and teacher as well as for services to the international community through Interplast Australia and New Zealand.
Originally appeared in Northshore Times June 12, 2015.


Jump in trampoline injuries prompts warning from doctors

Injuries among children have increased significantly after the boom in new commercial indoor trampoline centres around Sydney.
“These figures are alarming because of the large numbers of serious injuries sustained at these centres,” Dr Christopher Mulligan, from the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick, said.
Originally appeared in Parramatta Advertiser June 12, 2015.


Millionaire Hot Seat’s Gold Telethon Special donates $100k to Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation

IN support of Monday’s Gold Telethon, Millionaire Hot Seat aired a charity special where one man, Dr. Edwin Kirk, took home a whopping cash prize.
Kirk, a paediatrician/clinical geneticist who specialises in children affected by genetic diseases and metabolic disorders, landed $100,000 and to do their part for a good cause, Nine’s quiz show matched and donated the same amount to the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Originally appeared in News.com.au June 9, 2015.


Chelsea’s standing tall thanks to hospital

CHELSEA Boulton’s shopping trips with her mother would always end in tears.
“We are trying to get the spine as mobile as we can where the abnormal curve is, then pop the anchor points in, then connect all those anchor points to each other with a rod,” paediatric orthopedic surgeon Angus Gray said.
Originally appeared in Perth Now June 5, 2015.


Giving Isla a fighting chance: the miracle of cord blood

Somewhere in Australia there is a girl whose umbilical cord blood is helping to save baby Isla Bond’s life, although she doesn’t know it.
“Her transplant has gone very smoothly,” says Isla’s doctor and the head of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Blood and Marrow transplant program, Professor Tracey O’Brien.
“It is too early to say whether her leukaemia is cured but I know in my heart that we have given her the best possible chance, and that Isla herself is a fighter.”
Originally appeared on The Daily Telegraph May 30, 2015.


Newborns With Unclear CF Tests May Develop Disease Later

Eleven percent of infants who had inconclusive results for cystic fibrosis (CF) as newborns went on to develop the disease by age 3 years, underscoring the need for additional tests by skilled clinicians, including monitoring of sweat chloride and searching for disease-causing mutations, according to a prospective longitudinal study.
The study, by Chee Y. Ooi, MBBS, PhD, from the Discipline of Pediatrics, School of Women's and Children's Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and colleagues, is one of two articles published online May 11 in Pediatrics that examine how to care for children who are CF screen positive but receive an inconclusive diagnosis (CF screen positive inconclusive diagnosis; CFSPID).
Originally appeared on Medscape May 13, 2015.


Australian Studies Confirm TRXE-009 Kills Resistant Paediatric Brain Cancer Cell

US-Australian drug discovery company, Novogen Limited (ASX:NRT; NASDAQ: NVGN), in conjunction with Australian paediatric cancer researchers, released key pre-clinical data on experimental cancer drug-candidate, TRXE-009, confirming its potential to become an important new therapy against an incurable paediatric brain cancer called DIPG (diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma).
The data was presented by David Ziegler MD PhD and Anne Kankean PhD of the University of New South Wales/Children's Cancer Institute at the 3rd Biennial Conference on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Basic and Translational Research in San Diego, 7-8 May 2015.
Originally appeared on PipelineReview.com May 8, 2015


Child’s play for parents as local paediatrician numbers swell

THE health of Wagga’s kids is back on track following the appointment of two new paediatricians at Wagga Base.
Dr Laverne Lok and Dr Khalil Soniwala have joined the Wagga Base Hospital team after stints at Sydney Children’s Hospital.
Originally appeared in The Leader May 4, 2015.


Paediatric primary hyperparathyroidism in rarely a familial disorder

Researchers report that primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) in children and adolescents is usually caused by a sporadic single parathyroid adenoma.
All but one of the 25 patients with sporadic PHPT presented with classical symptoms of hypercalcaemia, with PHPT in the remaining patient discovered during surgery for papillary thyroid cancer, report Andrew Holland (The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) and study co-authors.
Originally appeared on News Medical May 1, 2015


Healthy Sam Poynton has reason to celebrate after successful bone marrow transplant

HE was “always a little ­unwell” — seemingly just having a bad run of the usual childhood illnesses.
Sydney Children’s Hospital immunology and allergy services head Professor John Ziegler said the hospital was much better placed now to ­diagnose PID.
“The outlook for children with PID has improved ­dramatically in recent years and Sydney Children’s Hospital is now a leading centre for ­identifying genetic causes in patients with immune deficiencies,” he said.
Originally appeared in The Daily Telegraph April 24, 2015


Tom and Felicity Harley credit parents’ intuition for saving infant son Hugo

AFL premiership captain Tom Harley and his wife, Felicity, credit parents’ intuition and fast treatment for saving the life of their five-week-old son after a rare combination of neurological infections.
Paediatrician Dr Emily Horsley immediately started Hugo on intravenous antibiotics as they awaited ­results from a range of tests to find the source of infection.
Originally appeared in Herald Sun April 22, 2015


Queensland to review commissioning of Lady Cilento Children's

Queensland has launched an independent review into the building and operational commissioning processes of Lady Cilento Children's Hospital (LCCH) following concerns the opening of the hospital late last year was rushed.
However, the clinical review team – NSW chief paediatrician Les White, Cheryl McCullagh from the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, paediatric emergency doctor at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sarah Dalton, and Jane Miller, executive director of strategy and organisational improvement at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne – found there were problems with some services from private contractor Medirest.
Originally appeared in Pulse+IT April 8, 2015


There's been a big bounce in trampoline injuries that's worrying doctors

Doctors at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, have sounded the alarm over a dramatic jump in injuries linked the growing popularity of indoor trampoline centres. There concern stems from the fact that most injuries are easily preventable.
Dr Christopher Mulligan from Sydney Children’s Hospital said that while the injuries varied, most were arm and leg fractures that led to operations.
Originally appeared in Business Insider March 24, 2015


Parents pin hopes on medical cannabis trial for children with epilepsy

On a bad day, four-year-old Bethany Edwards sleeps for more than 18 hours, has trouble holding a fork and finds it hard to walk without falling over or bumping into things. Bethany was 18 months old when she was first diagnosed with epilepsy.  Now four, she suffers from night-time seizures and associated speech and learning difficulties.
Dr John Lawson, paediatric neurologist at Sydney Children's Hospital and a principal investigator on the trial, said that up to 200 children from as young as six months of age may be included.  Those enrolled will be at the severe end of the epilepsy spectrum, and at least a couple of standard medications will have to have failed to help them.
Originally appeared in Sydney Morning Herald March 23, 2015


Here's a diet expert's warning on the recipes in Pete Evans 'paleo for babies' book

Less complicated children's surgery could be carried out in hospitals including Wollongong under a "hub and spoke" model being touted by the state's top paediatric surgeons.
Dietitian Jennifer Cohen says breast milk or an equivalent infant formula should only be given to babies under fourth months. Here’s her analysis of the recipe:
Originally appeared in Business Insider Australia March 19, 2015


Pete Evans 'thrilled' to release paleo cookbook for kids independently as e-book, in print

Celebrity chef and paleo diet advocate Pete Evans says he's 'thrilled' to release his paleo cookbook for kids independently as an e-book and in print.
Tamarah Katz, a paediatric dietician at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick, has also slammed the DIY baby formula, saying it was "irresponsible" and "dangerous".
Originally appeared on SBS March 17, 2015


Health experts slam Pete Evans' 'irresponsible' paleo cookbook for kids

The release of celebrity chef Pete Evans' paleo cookbook for kids has been 'delayed' after health experts raised serious concerns about the recipes, including a DIY infant formula.
Tamarah Katz, a paediatric dietician at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick, has also slammed the DIY baby formula, saying it was "irresponsible" and "dangerous".
Originally appeared on SBS March 5, 2015


Children's Cancer Institute recognised in Cancer Institute NSW's Translational Program Grants

Children's Cancer Institute's outstanding research work has been recognised by the Cancer Institute NSW's Translational Program Grants, announced yesterday by NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, The Hon Jillian Skinner MP.
Professors Glenn Marshall, Michelle Haber AM and Murray Norris at Children’s Cancer Institute, together with Dr Claire Wakefield at the Kids Cancer Centre, were awarded $3.75 million to continue their translational work, that allows laboratory findings to move from the bench top to the patient’s bedside.
Originally appeared on CCI Website March 5, 2015


UNSW receives $6.8 million to research new cancer treatments

UNSW research into childhood cancer and treatments for patients with nerve damage has received major backing in the latest round of funding from The Cancer Institute NSW.
UNSW Conjoint Professors David Goldstein and Glenn Marshall head up two of the four teams that will share $14.2 million in grants to target new cancer treatments.
Originally appeared in UNSW Newsroom March 4, 2015.


Sydney doctors pioneer procedure that gives baby boy new immune system

Many refugees and asylum seekers, including children, have experienced conflict, family separation and significant human rights violations, including torture, physical and sexual violence in their countries of origin and transit.
"There are 25 million people registered in the world to be bone marrow donors and unfortunately none were a suitable match to Kini," said one of his doctors, Tracey O'Brien, the head of bone marrow transplant the Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick.
Originally appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald March 1, 2015


Detained children risk life-long physical and mental harm

Many refugees and asylum seekers, including children, have experienced conflict, family separation and significant human rights violations, including torture, physical and sexual violence in their countries of origin and transit.
Author: Conjoint A/Prof Karen Zwi
Originally appeared in The Conversation February 19, 2015


Long non-coding RNAs

Dr Jennifer Lynch, 2014 Balnaves Young Researcher of the Year, is using her $100,000 award to support a one-year research project aimed at better understand long non-coding RNAs in acute childhood leukaemia.
Originally appeared on Australian Life Scientist February 19, 2015


Detained children risk life-long physical and mental harm

OPINION: Many refugees and asylum seekers, including children, have experienced conflict, family separation and significant human rights violations, including torture, physical and sexual violence in their countries of origin and transit.
Author: Conjoint A/Prof Karen Zwi
Originally appeared on UNSW Newsroom February 19, 2015


Australia asylum - How detention is harming children's mental health

A new report by Australia's Human Rights Commission calls on Canberra to release all detained children of asylum seekers.  Pediatrician Karen Zwi tells DW about how detention is causing them mental and physical illness.
Originally appeared on Deutsche Welle February 16, 2015


Surviving cancer: four tales of beating the odds

FOUR cancer survivors tell their incredible stories - showing how modern treatments can keep people alive.
Now working at the Children's Cancer Institute, Kavallaris is researching what makes cancer cells sensitive to chemotherapy and she is trying to produce less toxic therapies, particularly using nanotechnology.
Originally appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald February 15, 2015


Abbott slams report on health of children in detention

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has savaged a report into the health of children in immigration detention, accusing the Australian Human Rights Commission of a "blatantly partisan" exercise.
Paediatrician, Associate Professor Karen Zwi, one of several RACP Fellows who visited the detention centres says the inquiry details the “appalling” conditions in which children are being forced to live.
Originally appeared in 6 Minutes February 12, 2015


Calls to children to be released from detention

There are calls for children in detention centres on Christmas Island and Nauru to be immediately released following an alarming report which surveyed over a thousand children currently in detention.
Steve Austin spoke with Dr Karen Zwi, who is a paediatrician and a Conjoint Associate Professor with the School of Women's and Children's Health at the University of NSW.
Originally appeared on 612 ABC Brisbane February 12, 2015


Premature babies, medical miracles and the hardest decision a parent will ever face

“There have been phenomenal advances in the last 40 years,” says Professor Kei Lui, director of newborn care at Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women and associate professor at UNSW. “The first time we put a baby on a ventilator was 1969 and at that time we were looking at ventilating babies of 34 weeks. By the 1980s, a baby of 28 weeks would be routinely resuscitated but it was less likely under that age. Now at 26 weeks, resuscitation is routine.”
Originally appeared in The Australian February 7, 2015.


Epilepsy still a hidden condition

TWO years after his death, former Test cricketer and commentator Tony Greig is continuing to raise awareness of epilepsy.
"It's still a hidden disease," says Dr John Lawson, a child neurologist at Sydney Children's Hospital.  Epilepsy is not a single condition but a diverse family of disorders comprising many seizure types, says Dr Lawson.
Originally appeared on The Australian February 3, 2015.


‘Junk’ DNA may prove vital in finding potential treatments for childhood cancers

ONE group of human DNA, previously thought of as “junk’’, is the subject of medical research recently given a boost by Mosman philanthropist Neil Balnaves.
Dr Lynch and another young researcher Dr Denise Yu of Burwood are this year’s recipients of the Balnaves Young Researcher of the Year Awards. Each will receive $100,000.
Originally appeared on Mosman Daily January 29, 2015.


Vit D deficiency rife among cancer survivors

ADULT survivors of childhood cancer are twice as likely to have vitamin D deficiency as the general population, Australian researchers report.
The researchers led by paediatric endocrinologist Dr Kristen Neville from the Sydney Children’s Hospital suggest regular screening for survivors of childhood cancers.
Originally appeared on Endocrinology Update January 27, 2015.


New Spinal Muscular Atrophy Review Explores Evidence of Disease's Genetic Mechanisms

A recent review explored the current evidence regarding the genetic mechanisms implicated in Spinal Muscular Atrophy and its potential applicability for the development of treatments.
The review entitled “The Genetics of Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Progress and Challenges” recently published in the journal Neurotherapeutics, was conducted by Michelle Farrar from the Department of Neurology, Sydney Children’s Hospital and Matthew Kiernan from the Brain & Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney in Australia.
Originally appeared on SMA News Today January 23, 2015.


World-first bid to help survivors plan a family

An Australian oncologist is leading an ambitious project aimed at providing evidence-based fertility projections and preservation guidelines for male and female cancer patients.
Data will be analysed for each type of cancer and treatment based on ongoing input from thousands of patients at 153 cancer centres, says Dr Antoinette Anazodo, a paediatric and adolescent cancer specialist at the Sydney Youth Cancer Service.
Originally appeared on Oncology Update January 19, 2015.


Foundations Announce Charity Funding

Two large philanthropic Foundations, the Greater Charitable Foundation and The Balnaves Foundation have announced their New Year funding recipients.
The Balnaves Foundation has awarded funds to two aspiring researchers at Children’s Cancer Institute under the the Balnaves Young Researcher of the Year Award 2014.
Originally appeared on ProBono Australia January 15, 2015.


Online registry will help cancer patents preserve their fertility

In a world-first, the Randwick Hospitals Campus and UNSW Australia have launched an online registry that will capture a cancer patient's journey from diagnosis through to survivorship, and which can be used to help them plan for a family.
The Group is led by Dr Antoinette Anazodo, Chief Investigator and Paediatric and Adolescent Cancer Specialist, Sydney Youth Cancer Service.
Originally appeared on MedicalXpress January 13, 2015.


World-first register to track fertility of Australian cancer patients being developed in Sydney

With more people surviving cancer, preserving a patient's fertility so they can become a parent is more important than ever.
Professor Bill Ledger, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of New South Wales, said this was the first attempt to collect information on a national scale.
Leading the project is Dr Antoinette Anazodo, a child and adolescent cancer specialist at the Prince of Wales Hospital.
Originally appeared on ABC News January 13, 2015.


Australasian Oncofertility Registry will provide vital information to cancer patients

Like most 16-year-olds, Jaida Wand did not give her fertility much thought beyond a vague idea that one day she would grow up and have children.
Chief investigator Antoinette Anazodo, of Prince of Wales Hospital, said the registry would enable her to give more-informed advice to patients such as Jaida.
Originally appeared in The Age January 13, 2015.


Cannabis the latest form of epilepsy therapeutics, New South Wales government approve clinical trials

The government of New South Wales, Australia, has introduced new guidelines that allow cannabis use for epilepsy therapeutics to be tested in clinical trials.
The guidelines outline $9 million for investment in at least 3 trials, some of which will be half at the Children's Hospital at Westmead and some at Sydney Children's Hospital.
Originally appeared on Companies and Markets.com January 12, 2015.


Using raw milk for cosmetic purposes can make you sick, experts reveal

A LEADING microbiologist has warned raw milk can cause dangerous health problems even when only used cosmetically.
Sydney Children’s Hospital department head of paediatric gastroenterology, Dr Avi Lemberg, said people needed to be reminded that infectious diseases are still a risk despite medical advancements.
Originally appeared in Daily Telegraph January 11, 2015.


Children’s Cancer Institute and the Robert Connor Dawes Fund join forces for better brain tumour treatments

Children’s Cancer Institute is thrilled to have received $25,000 from the Robert Connor Dawes Fund (RCD Fund) towards its Personalised Medicine Program for paediatric brain tumour patients, aims to improve treatment options for children who would otherwise have a dismal prognosis.
Led by Dr David Ziegler, Group Leader of Targeted Therapies at Children’s Cancer Institute and Paediatric Oncologist at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, the program will establish tailored therapeutics for children with high-risk brain tumours and other high-risk malignancies.
Originally appeared on CCI website January 7, 2015.


Medical marijuana unproven, warns Sydney child neurologist

Some parents are pinning their hopes on medical marijuana alleviating their children’s pain, but the drug might not work, according to a doctor likely to conduct trials into the drug’s effect on child epilepsy.
Following high-profile news reports in the United States about the effect of marijuana on epileptic seizures, there has been a huge increase of interest in marijuana as a potential treatment option, said Dr John Lawson, a child neurologist at Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick.
Originally appeared in Financial Review January 5, 2015.


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