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Prehabilitation Pathway for children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

By Alexis Ross

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the Māori Cancer Researcher Awards 2023.

Alexis Ross

Read about Alexis Ross, one of our Māori Cancer Research award recipients.

Alexis Ross (Ngāti Kahungunu)

University of Auckland

Māori Cancer Researcher Awards - PhD Scholarship

Co-design of a Prehabilitation Pathway for children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL): optimising nutrition and physical activity supportive care.

Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is the most common childhood cancer diagnosis with survival rates reaching over 90% in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Treatment for ALL is long (2-3 years) and children can face many nutrition (food) and lifestyle (physical activity and mood) challenges during treatment and as they grow older. Because of these challenges, many patients and their whānau feel lost.

This research is made up of four projects that have patients and whānau at the centre to understand:

  • how changes to nutritional status (measured using weight and height) are associated with survival,
  • the types of nutrition, activity, and mood challenges faced by patients and whānau,
  • how we can draw on these experiences to design a support pathway, and
  • how this can be built into treatment for ALL.

Together, this research hopes to build resilience in the areas of nutrition, activity and mood, and improve quality of life.