My primary area of interest is in the biology, management, and late effects of childhood brain and spinal cord tumors. I participate in the Children's Oncology Group (COG), a North American multi-institutional collaboration in treatment of childhood cancer and clinical and supportive care trials. I also participate in the Canadian Pediatric Brain Tumour Consortium, where we collaborate nationally in conducting research in pediatric brain tumors. Locally, I participate in research at the clinical level where treatments, quality of life, late effects of treatments, and other clinically-related questions are evaluated.


Improving diagnosis of pediatric central nervous system tumours: aiming for early detection
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Ran D. Goldman and Sylvia Cheng and D. Douglas Cochrane
DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.160074

Outcomes of children with central nervous system germinoma treated with multi-agent chemotherapy followed by reduced radiation
Journal of Neuro-Oncology
Sylvia Cheng and John-Paul Kilday and Normand Laperriere and Laura Janzen and James Drake and Eric Bouffet and Ute Bartels
DOI: 10.1007/s11060-015-2029-1

Pathological Findings of a Subependymal Giant Cell Astrocytoma Following Treatment With Rapamycin
Pediatric Neurology
Sylvia Cheng and Cynthia Hawkins and Michael D. Taylor and Ute Bartels
DOI: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2015.05.020

Do we need a formalized humanism and professionalism curriculum in pediatric hematology and oncology training?
Pediatric Blood & Cancer
Sylvia Cheng and Meera Rayar and Angela Punnett
DOI: 10.1002/pbc.25638

Improving the Curriculum in the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology (PHO) Residency Program
Paediatric Blood and Cancer

Long term outcomes in children with intracranial germinoma: a single institution experience from 2000-2013

Early deaths in pediatric acute leukemia: a population-based study
Leukemia & Lymphoma
Sylvia Cheng and Jason D. Pole and Lillian Sung
DOI: 10.3109/10428194.2013.850685

Early deaths in pediatric acute leukemia: a population-based study
Paediatric Blood and Cancer

Pathological findings of subependymal giant cell astrocytoma following treatment with mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor Rapamycin
Paediatric Blood and Cancer

Completing a scholarly project during paediatric residency: motivators, barriers, and enablers
Paediatric and Child Health

Discrete choice experiment produced estimates of acceptable risks of therapeutic options in cancer patients with febrile neutropenia
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology
Lillian Sung and Shabbir M. Alibhai and Marie-Chantal Ethier and Oliver Teuffel and Sylvia Cheng and David Fisman and Dean A. Regier
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2011.11.008

Health-related quality of life anticipated with different management strategies for febrile neutropenia in adult cancer patients
Supportive Care in Cancer
O. Teuffel and S. Cheng and M. C. Ethier and C. Diorio and J. Martino and C. Mayo and R. Wing and L. Sung and S. M. H. Alibhai
DOI: 10.1007/s00520-012-1397-8

Health-related quality of life anticipated with different management strategies for paediatric febrile neutropaenia
British Journal of Cancer
S Cheng and O Teuffel and M C Ethier and C Diorio and J Martino and C Mayo and D Regier and R Wing and S M H Alibhai and L Sung
DOI: 10.1038/bjc.2011.213

Health-related quality of life anticipated with different management strategies for paediatric febrile neutropaenia
Paediatric and Child Health

Symptomatic Congenital Vallecular Cyst in a Neonate
The Journal of Pediatrics
Sylvia S. Cheng and Vito Forte and Vibhuti S. Shah
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.01.076


Delayed Diagnosis of CNS Tumors in Children
Central nervous system (CNS) tumors in chidlren account for a quarter of all cancers in children but diagnosis is often delayed as symptoms are not specific and more benign conditions are more common. Furthermore, the diagnosis of CNS tumors necessittes a comprehensive clinical history and complete examination in addition to advanced imaging. Delay in diagnosis of CNS tumors in children can be devastating for families and clinicians and time to diagnosis is critical in an effort to provide the best surgical and non-surgical care. Despite ample research and improvements in quality and access to diagnostic imaging, time to diagnosis in children has been less than optimal with reports of 5-8 months from time of symptom presentation to diagnosis. Therefore, we hope to retrospectively evaluate the time to diagnosis of CNS tumors in children in British Columbia with the aim of developing an algorithm and educational tools to aid health care providers in management prospectively.

International DIPG Registry
Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) is a devastating brainstem tumor that occurs in young children. Despite attempts of novel therapeutics or conventional radiation therapy, the prognosis remains dismal. Therefore, the primary aim of the DIPG Registry is to collaborate with all pediatric centers internationally to form a clinical, radiological, and tissue repository for the basis of a platform to provide collaborative efforts and research to occur in an extremely rare disease.

Headstart 4
Earlier generations of multi-center "Baby" protocols have demonstrated the feasibility of chemotherapy-only strategies for young children with newly diagnosed malignant brain tumors. The disease-free survivals attained with these regimens, however, remained worse compared to regimens that include radiation therapy. The previous generations of Headstart studies (1-3) demonstrated favourable outcomes for certain patient groups. Recent genomic advances in RNA and DNA profiling have identified four molecular subgroups of medulloblastoma that confer prognosis. However, all the analyses to date have been conducted on patients where the majority received radiation therapy. Therefore, the primary aims of Headstart 4 is to determine prospectively, in a randomized fashion, whether there is a difference in event-free and overall survival in those who receive a dose-intensive tandem consolidation vs. single consolidation in high risk patients with medulloblastoma and embryonal CNS tumors based on prospective molecular risk stratification.

Research Group Members

Carla Willems