Purpose: Survivors of childhood cancer often experience treatment-related chronic health conditions. Given its vast population, China shares a large proportion of the global childhood cancer burden. Yet, screening and treatment of late effects in survivors of childhood cancer remain underaddressed in most regions of China. This study aimed to identify high-priority late effects for harmonizing screening guidelines within the Chinese Children's Cancer Group (CCCG), as well as barriers and enablers of the implementation of surveillance recommendations in local practice.
Methods: To establish clinical consensus, 12 expert panelists who represent major institutions within the CCCG completed a Delphi survey and participated in a focus group discussion. The survey solicited ratings of the prevalence, severity, and priority for screening of 45 late effects. Major themes identified from the focus group were analyzed using thematic analysis.
Results: The Delphi survey identified eight high-priority late effects for harmonization within CCCG: osteonecrosis, osteoporosis, left ventricular dysfunction, secondary brain tumors, treatment-related myeloid leukemia, gonadal dysfunction, growth hormone deficiency, and neurocognitive deficits. The common barriers to implementing survivorship programs include lack of support and resources for clinicians to provide follow-up care. Patients were also concerned about privacy issues and lacked awareness of late effects. Many institutions also lacked rehabilitation expertise and referral pathways.
Conclusion: By identifying obstacles related to the professional setting, patient behavior, and organization of care, our study identified resources and a framework for establishing collaborative strategies to facilitate follow-up care of childhood cancer survivors in China.