First name
Kira
Last name
Bona

Title

Impact of poverty and neighborhood opportunity on outcomes for children treated with CD19-directed CAR T-cell therapy.

Year of Publication

2022

Date Published

11/2022

ISSN Number

1528-0020

Abstract

Children living in poverty experience excess relapse and death from newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The influence of household poverty and neighborhood social determinants on outcomes from CAR T-cell therapy for relapsed/refractory (r/r) leukemia is poorly described. We identified patients with r/r CD19+ ALL/lymphoblastic lymphoma treated on CD19-directed CAR T-cell clinical trials or with commercial tisagenlecleucel from 2012 to 2020. Socioeconomic status (SES) was proxied at the household-level, with poverty-exposure defined as Medicaid-only insurance. Low neighborhood opportunity was defined by the Childhood Opportunity Index. Among 206 patients aged 1-29, 35.9% were household-poverty exposed, and 24.9% had low neighborhood opportunity. Patients unexposed to household-poverty or low-opportunity neighborhoods were more likely to receive CAR T-cell therapy with high disease burden (>25%)-a disease characteristic associated with inferior outcomes-as compared to less advantaged patients (38% vs 30%; 37% vs 26%). Complete remission (CR) rate was 93% with no significant differences by household-poverty (P = 0.334) or neighborhood opportunity (P = 0.504). In multivariate analysis, patients from low-opportunity neighborhoods experienced increased hazard of relapse as compared to others (P = 0.006, adjusted HR 2.3, 95% CI 1.3-4.1). There was no difference in hazard of death (P = 0.545, adjusted HR 1.2, 95% CI 0.6-2.4). Among children who successfully receive CAR T-cell therapy, CR and OS is equitable regardless of proxied SES and neighborhood opportunity. Children from more advantaged households and neighborhoods receive CAR T-cell therapy with higher disease burden. Investigation of multicenter outcomes and access disparities outside of clinical-trial settings is warranted. Clinical trials: NCT01626495; NCT02435849 ; NCT02374333; NCT02228096; NCT02906371.

DOI

10.1182/blood.2022017866

Alternate Title

Blood

PMID

36351239

Title

Pediatric palliative care parents' distress, financial difficulty, and child symptoms.

Year of Publication

2021

Date Published

2021 Aug 20

ISSN Number

1873-6513

Abstract

<p><strong>CONTEXT: </strong>Parents of patients with a serious illness experience psychological distress, which impacts parents' wellbeing and, potentially, their ability to care for their children. Parent psychological distress may be influenced by children's symptom burden and by families' financial difficulty.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVES: </strong>This study examined the associations among parent psychological distress, parent-reported patient symptoms, and financial difficulty, seeking to determine the relative association of financial difficulty and of patient symptoms to parent psychological distress.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Cross-sectional study of baseline data for 601 parents of 532 pediatric palliative care patients enrolled in a prospective cohort study conducted at seven US children's hospitals. Data included self-reported parent psychological distress and parent report of child's symptoms and family financial difficulty. We used ordinary least squares multiple regressions to examine the association between psychological distress and symptom score, between psychological distress and financial difficulty, and whether the degree of financial difficulty modified the relationship between psychological distress and symptom score.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>The majority of parents were moderately distressed (52%) or severely distressed (17%) and experienced some degree of financial difficulty (65%). While children's symptom scores and family financial difficulty together explained more of the variance in parental psychological distress than either variable alone, parental distress was associated more strongly, and to a larger degree, with financial difficulty than with symptom scores alone.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Parent psychological distress was associated with parent-reported patient symptoms and financial difficulty. Future work should examine these relationships longitudinally, and whether interventions to improve symptom management and ameliorate financial difficulties improve parental outcomes.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2021.08.004

Alternate Title

J Pain Symptom Manage

PMID

34425212

Title

Poverty and Targeted Immunotherapy: Survival in Children's Oncology Group Clinical Trials for High-Risk Neuroblastoma.

Year of Publication

2020

Date Published

2020 Nov 24

ISSN Number

1460-2105

Abstract

<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Whether social determinants of health are associated with survival in the context of pediatric oncology-targeted immunotherapy trials is not known. We examined the association between poverty and event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) for children with high-risk neuroblastoma treated in targeted immunotherapy trials.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 371 children with high-risk neuroblastoma treated with GD2-targeted immunotherapy in the Children's Oncology Group trial ANBL0032 or ANBL0931 at a Pediatric Health Information System center from 2005 to 2014. Neighborhood poverty exposure was characterized a priori as living in a zip code with a median household income within the lowest quartile for the cohort. Household poverty exposure was characterized a priori as sole coverage by public insurance. Post hoc analyses examined the joint effect of neighborhood and household poverty using a common reference. All statistical tests were 2-sided.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>In multivariable Cox regressions adjusted for disease and treatment factors, household poverty-exposed children experienced statistically significantly inferior EFS (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.90, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.28 to 2.82, P = .001) and OS (HR = 2.79, 95% CI = 1.63 to 4.79, P &lt; .001) compared with unexposed children. Neighborhood poverty was not independently associated with EFS or OS. In post hoc analyses exploring the joint effect of neighborhood and household poverty, children with dual-poverty exposure (neighborhood poverty and household poverty) experienced statistically significantly inferior EFS (HR = 2.21, 95% CI = 1.48 to 3.30, P &lt; .001) and OS (HR = 3.70, 95% CI = 2.08 to 6.59, P &lt; .001) compared with the unexposed group.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>Poverty is independently associated with increased risk of relapse and death among neuroblastoma patients treated with targeted immunotherapy. Incorporation of social and environmental factors in future trials as health-care delivery intervention targets may increase the benefit of targeted therapies.</p>

DOI

10.1093/jnci/djaa107

Alternate Title

J Natl Cancer Inst

PMID

33227816

Title

Pediatric Palliative Care in the Multi-Cultural Context: Findings from a workshop conference.

Year of Publication

2019

Date Published

2019 Jan 24

ISSN Number

1873-6513

Abstract

<p><strong>CONTEXT: </strong>In our increasingly multicultural society, providing sensitive and respectful pediatric palliative care is vital.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVES: </strong>We held a one-day workshop conference with stakeholders and pediatric clinicians to identify suggestions for navigating conflict when cultural differences are present and for informing standard care-delivery.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Participants explored cases in one of four workshops focused on differences based on either race/ethnicity, economic disparity, religion/spirituality, or family-values. Each workshop was facilitated by two authors; separate transcriptionists recorded workshop discussions in real-time. We used content analyses to qualitatively evaluate the texts and generate recommendations.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Participants included 142 individuals representing over 6 unique disciplines, 25 of the United States, and 3 nations. Whereas the conference focused on pediatric palliative care, findings were broadly generalizable to most medical settings. Participants identified key reasons cultural differences may create tension and then provided frameworks for communication, training, and clinical care. Specifically, recommendations included phrases to navigate emotional conflict, broken trust, unfamiliar family values, and conflict. Suggested approaches to training and clinical care included the development of core competencies in communication, history taking, needs assessment, and emotional intelligence. Important opportunities for scholarship included qualitative studies exploring diverse patient- and family-experiences, quantitative studies examining health disparities, and randomized clinical trials testing interventions designed to improve community partnerships, communication, or child health outcomes.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Taken together, findings provide a foundation for collaboration between patients, families, and clinicians of all cultures.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2019.01.005

Alternate Title

J Pain Symptom Manage

PMID

30685496

Title

The Relationship Between Household Income and Patient-Reported Symptom Distress and Quality of Life in Children With Advanced Cancer: A Report From the PediQUEST Study.

Year of Publication

2018

Date Published

2018 Sep 14

ISSN Number

1097-0142

Abstract

<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>Children with advanced cancer experience high symptom distress, which negatively impacts their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). To the authors' knowledge, the relationship between income and symptom distress and HRQOL is not well described.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>The Pediatric Quality of Life and Symptoms Technology (PediQUEST) multisite clinical trial evaluated an electronic patient-reported outcome system to describe symptom distress and HRQOL in children with advanced cancer via repeated surveys. The authors performed a secondary analysis of PediQUEST data for those children with available parent-reported household income (dichotomized at 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and categorized as low income [&lt;$50,000/year] or high income [≥$50,000/year]). The prevalence of the 5 most commonly reported physical and psychological symptoms was compared between groups. Multivariable generalized estimating equation models were used to test the association between household income and symptom distress and HRQOL.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>A total of 78 children were included in the analyses: 56 (72%) in the high-income group and 22 (28%) in the low-income group. Low-income children were more likely to report pain than high-income children (64% vs 42%; P=.02). In multivariable models, children from low-income families demonstrated a uniform trend toward higher total (β =3.1; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], -0.08 to 6.2 [P=.06]), physical (β=3.8; 95% CI, -0.4 to 8.0 [P=.09]), and psychological (β=3.46; 95% CI, -1.91 to 8.84 [P=.21]) symptom distress compared with children from high-income families. Low income was associated with a uniform trend toward lower total (β=-7.9; 95% CI, -14.8, to -1.1 [P=.03]), physical (β=-11.2; 95% CI, -21.2 to -1.2 [P=.04]), emotional (β=-5.8; 95% CI, -13.6 to 2.0 [P=.15]), social (β=-2.52; 95% CI, -9.27 to 4.24 [P=.47]), and school (β=-9.8; 95% CI, -17.8 to -1.8 [P=.03]) HRQOL.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSIONS: </strong>In this cohort of children with advanced cancer, children from low-income families were found to experience higher symptom burden and worse QOL.</p>

DOI

10.1002/cncr.31668

Alternate Title

Cancer

PMID

30216416

Title

An overview of disparities in childhood cancer: Report on the Inaugural Symposium on Childhood Cancer Health Disparities, Houston, Texas, 2016.

Year of Publication

2018

Number of Pages

1-16

Date Published

2018 May 08

ISSN Number

1521-0669

Abstract

<p>The Inaugural Symposium on Childhood Cancer Health Disparities was held in Houston, Texas, on November 2, 2016. The symposium was attended by 109 scientists and clinicians from diverse disciplinary backgrounds with interests in pediatric cancer disparities and focused on reviewing our current knowledge of disparities in cancer risk and outcomes for select childhood cancers. Following a full day of topical sessions, everyone participated in a brainstorming session to develop a working strategy for the continued expansion of research in this area. This meeting was designed to serve as a springboard for examination of childhood cancer disparities from a more unified and systematic approach and to enhance awareness of this area of need.</p>

DOI

10.1080/08880018.2018.1464088

Alternate Title

Pediatr Hematol Oncol

PMID

29737912

Title

Economic impact of advanced pediatric cancer on families.

Year of Publication

2014

Number of Pages

594-603

Date Published

2014 Mar

ISSN Number

1873-6513

Abstract

<p><strong>CONTEXT: </strong>Despite emerging evidence of substantial financial distress in families of children with complex illness, little is known about economic hardship in families of children with advanced cancer.</p>

<p><strong>OBJECTIVES: </strong>To describe perceived financial hardship, work disruptions, income losses, and associated economic impact in families of children with advanced cancer stratified by federal poverty level (FPL).</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>Cross-sectional survey of 86 parents of children with progressive, recurrent, or nonresponsive cancer at three children's hospitals. Seventy-one families with complete income data (82%) are included in this analysis.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Parental work disruptions were prevalent across all income levels, with 67 (94%) families reporting some disruption. At least one parent quit a job because of the child's illness in 29 (42%) families. Nineteen (27%) families described their child's illness as a great economic hardship. Income losses because of work disruptions were substantial for all families; families at or below 200% FPL, however, were disproportionately affected. Six (50%) of the poorest families lost more than 40% of their annual income as compared with two (5%) of the wealthiest families (P&nbsp;=&nbsp;0.006). As a result of income losses, nine (15%) previously nonpoor families fell from above to below 200% FPL.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>The economic impact of pediatric advanced cancer on families is significant at all income levels, although poorer families suffer disproportionate losses. Development of ameliorative intervention strategies is warranted.</p>

DOI

10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2013.04.003

Alternate Title

J Pain Symptom Manage

PMID

23870843

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