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WHAT WE FUND

Cancer

Pain

At a glance

Identifying the type and impact of chronic pain following childhood cancer treatment

Lead researcher

Professor Suellen Walker

Institution

University College London

Status

Awarded and preparing to start

Amount awarded

£273,444.00

Last updated

13/05/24

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Chronic pain is reported by up to 44% of childhood cancer survivors.

SW Professor Suellen Walker

Many children and young people who have been treated for blood cancer, such as leukaemia or lymphoma, also report experiencing chronic pain long after treatment.

At Great Ormond Street Hospital, children and young people regularly attend follow-up appointments at the Haematology/Oncology Late Effect Clinic after they have undergone treatment for blood cancers.

Professor Suellen Walker and a specialist team from University College London are inviting these patients to participate in a study, where they will distribute questionnaires and carry out specialised tests to assess the type and severity of pain. The team will also look at the impact of this pain on physical activity, sleep, fatigue, emotions, and ability to think clearly and quickly. They aim to identify measures that can highlight chronic pain-related difficulties at earlier stages in a patient’s journey, to bring about earlier interventions that can improve patient outcomes.

The team is made up of pain clinician/researchers (Suellen Walker, Helen Laycock); haematology oncology Late Effects specialist (Vesna Pavasovic); research and clinical psychologist (Anna Hood); and an early-career scientist who will be trained in paediatric pain research. They will continue to work with their patient/public partner (Margaret Johnson) and a Children and Young People (CYP) Focus Group throughout the study.

Professor Walker's team will share results of the project with CYP, families, cancer and pain networks, and healthcare providers, with the aim to improve the journey of young patients dealing with cancer pain.