“Navya Care” Scales Access to Rare Pediatric Cancer Care Expertise To Empower Every Child

BANGALORE, Karnataka, – Feb 15th, 2019 – Navya (www.navya.care) has scaled access to rare pediatric cancer care expertise, enabling every child with cancer to be treated with an evidence based treatment plan recommended by pediatric cancer experts. On the occasion of International Childhood Cancer Day, Bangalore based Navya emphasizes the importance of multidisciplinary expertise in treating children with cancers. Childhood cancers should be treated by a panel of experts ranging from surgical oncologist, medical oncologist, and radiation oncologist who specialize primarily in treating pediatric cancers, not adult cancers.

There are a limited number of cancer experts who specialize in pediatric cancers especially when narrowed by cancer of organ, such as experts focused on pediatric blood cancers or pediatric brain tumors or pediatric bone and soft tissue tumors.  Furthermore, pediatric cancer experts are located only in tertiary referral centers in metropolitan cities. They have limited time and availability to treat every child with cancer. However, in collaboration with parents and treating oncologists located in any cancer center in the country, pediatric cancer specialists can share their experience in guiding the treatment plan of children with cancer. Children can receive the appropriate treatment close to home without traveling to far away cities and waiting in queues at crowded referral centers to know what a pediatric cancer expert would recommend. 

Dr. Hari Menon, senior expert in Haemato Oncology at Cytecare, Bangalore states: “Navya allows treating oncologists, patients, and specialists in tertiary centers to work together online and jointly determine a treatment plan that is evidence based and will maximize outcomes for patients.  Cancer requires organ specific multidisciplinary treatment planning and Navya enables an online multidisciplinary tumor board collaboration between oncologists and organ specific cancer specialists.” 

Navya is a clinical informatics system and online expert opinion service that provides evidence based multidisciplinary expert opinions, within 24 hours, to thousands of pediatric cancer patients in India. Navya has created an ecosystem of collaboration between parents, treating oncologists, pediatric cancer specialists, and social workers who support the care of children with cancer. This enables improved outcomes of cure and quality of life for children. 

One can register and upload the case documents on www.navya.care. The expert opinion helps parents gain confidence in their care for their child, and provides an opportunity for parents to discuss evidence based treatments with their treating oncologist. This increases compliance in the treatment and together the treating oncologists and the parents proceed on the best path of cure, longevity and quality of life, for the child. 

Navya collaborates with social workers on the ground who handhold parents of pediatric patients and liaise with the treating oncologists to enable an online expert opinion.  Navya is partnered with ImPaCCT Foundation and CanKids, two of the large childhood cancer NGOs, situated at Tata Memorial Centre and in over 50 cancer centers in India to empower children.

The parents of a 17-year-old-boy in India registered online on Navya.  Since the cancerous tumor was on the leg, the parents believed that amputation was the only way ahead. On reviewing the case with pediatric medical oncologist and pediatric surgical oncologist specializing in osteosarcomas (bone cancer), the Navya recommendation was for chemotherapy followed by limb salvage surgery, not amputation. The social worker, treating oncologist, and parents collaborated online with Navya and rallied for the teenager to receive the recommended therapies. The boy is doing well and the parents are grateful and proud to have maintained their child’s quality of life. 

Navya has clinically validated its impact on pediatric cancer patients. “For pediatric cancers, the first chance of cure is the most important,” says Dr. Tushar Vora, Professor of Pediatric Oncology at Tata Memorial Centre. He has presented impact study results at globally reputable international conferences such as the 2nd Global Adolescent & Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Congress in Atlanta, USA and 50th International Society of Paediatric Oncology (SIOP) at Kyoto, Japan in 2018.  These results showed doubling of pediatric patients receiving an online expert opinion, a growth rate faster than that of adult patients, demonstrating the Increased need and impact of pediatric cancer expertise in India. 

Of the 6804 pediatric patients analyzed in the study, 95.8% received the therapy recommended by Navya online expert opinion service. This shows seamless adoption by treating oncologists of an online collaboration with pediatric specialists.  Further, the majority of patients required solid tumor expertise versus the more established treatment protocols of liquid tumors, demonstrating that complex pediatric cancers seek and receive the necessary multidisciplinary expertise. In the adolescent and young adult cohort, Navya provides complex therapeutic opinions on fertility and organ preservation, which is critical for quality of life. Gastrointestinal, gynecology, and head and neck cancers with metastasis formed the majority of cases in this cohort. Finally, in the key result presented at the national Pediatric Hematology Oncology Conference (PHOCON) in 2018, Navya reported a significantly higher proportion of pediatric brain cancer patients seeking online expertise and a high number of non-metastatic cases being referred for an online expert opinion, indicating the increased prevalent practice of seeking evidence-based expertise for all pediatric and adolescent and young adult cancers. 

Dr. Shripad Banavali, Director  Academics and  Head of Pediatric and Medical Oncology at Tata Memorial Centre, states “80% of childhood cancers are curable if treated early per evidence based treatment plans.”  Gitika Srivastava, Founder of Navya emphasizes: “Every cancer patient has the right to an expert opinion and choosing the right therapy vetted by an expert can achieve the best possible outcome. Scaling access to pediatric cancer expertise is critical for the children of our country.”

National Cancer Grid (NCG), tmc.gov.in/ncg Tata Memorial Centre (TMC) tmc.gov.in

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