• Deyell, Rebecca


    Investigator, Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program, BC Children's Hospital
    Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
    Scientist, Michael Cuccione Childhood Cancer Research Program

    Degrees / Designations
    BSc, MD, MHSc (Epidemiology)
    Primary Area of Research
    Childhood Diseases
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    604-875-2000 ext. 4815
    Lab Phone
    Carla Willems
    Assistant Phone
    Mailing Address

    BC Children's Hospital
    Room B315
    4480 Oak Street
    Vancouver, BC, V6H 3V4

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Neuroblastoma
    • Late effects in survivors of childhood cancer
    • Clinical trials in pediatric oncology
    • Developmental therapeutics

    My disease-specific focus is neuroblastoma, the most common extra-cranial solid tumor of childhood. I am interested in older children and adolescents with neuroblastoma, who have more indolent disease but ultimately poor outcomes, and children with central nervous system involvement. Utilization of International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG) data on more than 8,000 children has allowed me to study these rare subgroups and to determine if accepted prognostic factors and treatment approaches are applicable to them.

    I also study late effects of cancer and its treatment in survivors of childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer. I am currently involved in a project that will determine if survivors are at increased risk for using prescription mental health drugs, compared to their peers.

    Finally, I am interested in developing early phase clinical trials in pediatric oncology to help facilitate the rapid transition of new targeted drug therapies from the lab to the patient.

    Current Projects
    Neuroblastoma in Older Children, Adolescents and Young Adults
    Neuroblastoma is the most common extra-cranial solid tumor of childhood and accounts for 10% of pediatric cancer mortality. Its incidence peaks in infancy, with a median age at diagnosis of 17 months. Older children and adolescents with neuroblastoma are rare and typically have an indolent disease course but ultimately poor survival outcomes. In this study, we utilize data from the International Neuroblastoma Risk Group (INRG) on 8,800 children with neuroblastoma to determine if there is an optimal age cut-off greater than 18 months that defines this group and to define the clinical and biological predictors of overall and event-free survival. We also determine whether currently accepted treatment approaches for high-risk neuroblastoma are effective for these patients.

    Prevalence and Predictors of Antidepressant Users among Survivors of Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer
    Five year survivors of childhood and AYA cancer are at risk for many chronic and late-occurring medical conditions including second malignancies and late mortality. They may also be at risk for adversely affected mental health status, although the psychological sequelae of cancer and its therapy remain poorly defined. Through the Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors (CAYACS) research program, we utilize database linkage technology to determine if cancer survivors have an increased likelihood of being antidepressant medication users, compared to an age and gender-matched general population comparison group. We also evaluate which cancer diagnoses and treatment modalities are predictive of requiring prescription antidepressant medications among survivors.
    Selected Publications

    Batra V, Deyell RJ, Maris JM. Molecular oncology of neuroblastoma. In: Gelmann E, Sawyers C, Rauscher F, editors. Molecular Oncology: Causes of Cancer and Targets for Treatment: Cambridge University Press; in press.

    Deyell RJ, Attiyeh EF. Advances in the understanding of constitutional and genomic alterations in neuroblastoma. Cancer Genetics. 204(3):113-21, 2011. PMID: 21504710

    Deyell RJ, Shereck, EB, Milner, RA, Schultz, KR. Immunosuppressive therapy without hematopoietic growth factor exposure in pediatric acquired aplastic anemia. The Journal of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. 28(6):469-78, 2011. PMID: 21707222

    Shereck EB, Deyell RJ, Kurré P. Cost and consequences of immunosuppressive therapy in children with aplastic anemia. Hematologica. 96(6):793-5, 2011. PMID: 21632841

    Deyell R, Jackson S, Spier S, Le D, Poon MC. Low oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry may be associated with a low affinity hemoglobin variant, Hemoglobin Titusville. The Journal of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. 28(2):100-2, 2006. PMID: 16462584

    Clinician Investigator Program, University of British Columbia, 2009-2011
    Honours & Awards

    John Snow Prize, Epidemiologic methods, University of British Columbia, November 2010

    Laura MacRae Subspecialty Resident Award, BC Children’s Hospital, 2010

    Research Group Members