European Journal of Pediatrics vol:170 issue:2 pages:253-5
Since its establishment as a pediatric subspecialty oncology has become the near exclusive domain of specialized tertiary centers. This has greatly aided progress in the field with formation of exemplary and highly focused international consortia that have continued to streamline clinical research efforts. Recently, the rate of progress in terms of further improvements in overall outcome has paradoxically slowed. Novel strategies are therefore needed to assure continued advances. On the one hand, international and global consortia of subspecialists will continue to focus on the development of much needed improved therapies for those disease groups that have not yet seen their prognosis brighten, and on the other hand, there is a trend to invest in the development of joint-care initiatives that assure cost-effective access to standard therapy for all. This will require closer involvement of the general pediatrician in certain aspects of cancer care in its broadest sense. We hope the upcoming series will aid this process by highlighting selected topics in pediatric oncology that are likely to gain even more relevance for the general pediatrician in the years to come. They include: screening strategies for cancer predisposition syndromes; molecular diagnosis and risk-adjustment of therapy for acute leukemia in childhood; an overview of new agents in clinical development; and the impact of cancer treatment on fertility and available preservation options.