Passport for Care, an innovative, web-based system that guides health care for pediatric cancer survivors, is poised to have an even wider impact as it is now being made available to the more than 220 institutions of the Children's Oncology Group.

The system was developed at the Texas Children's Cancer Center and the Center for Collaborative and Interactive Technologies at Baylor College of Medicine.

System generates individualized recommendations

The Passport for Care website allows oncologists to enter a survivor's basic medical history—including type of cancer and treatment including any chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. With the click of a mouse, the Passport for Care program then generates individualized health care recommendations for the long-term survivor based on the most up-to-date COG survivorship guidelines.

More than 75 percent of pediatric cancer patients are cured but many have late effects of their treatment that can be serious and even life-threatening, said Dr. David Poplack, professor of pediatrics – hematology/oncology at BCM and director of the Texas Children's Cancer Center, who helped develop the program.

"Keeping up with health care recommendations can be complicated for survivors and their physicians but Passport for Care can translate complex follow-up guidelines into a user-friendly, personalized care plan," Poplack said.

Important tool

Dr. Peter Adamson, chair of the COG, which is an international consortium of childhood cancer centers with the goal of preventing and curing childhood cancer through scientific discovery and compassionate care, announced the implementation plan at the group's spring meeting in Los Angeles.

"Passport for Care is an important tool in ensuring survivors lead long, healthy lives so we are excited about its availability to all members of the Children's Oncology Group," Adamson said.

Passport for Care was launched at Texas Children's Cancer Center in 2008 and is currently being used at 11 additional COG institutions. A grant from the Cancer Prevention and Research Initiative of Texas will make the PFC available to pediatric cancer treatment centers in Texas.

The PFC was developed by Poplack along with Drs. Marc Horowitz and Michael Fordis, Jr., director of CCIT at BCM. Drs. Poplack and Horowitz, professors of pediatrics – hematology/oncology at BCM, attended the COG spring meeting, where they demonstrated Passport for Care to other physicians in attendance.

Texas Children's Cancer Center is a joint program of Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital and is the pediatric program of the NCI-designated Dan L Duncan Cancer Center at BCM.