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Dysglycaemia during induction therapy of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in New Zealand

A 2020/2021 Summer Studentship research project

Student: Isabella Mellis
Supervisors: Dr Martin de Bock, Dr Siobhan Cross
Sponsor: Children’s Cancer Research Trust


High dose steroids used during ALL treatment is estimated to occur in about 2% of patients. However, protocols for detecting this are not well established, and there is regional differences.

Further, further investigation and management is hyperglycaemia is variable. The study will look at the last 5 years of ALL inductions, to determine the NZ rate of dysglycaemia, the investigations used to identify dysglycaemia, risk factors, management, and early post induction clinical course stratified according to normal glucose not dysglycaemia.


This is the base work for a predicted longer term research stream that will use newer technologies to identify dysglycaemia during ALL treatment induction with steroids, and develop stronger guidelines on management.


5 years of ALL induction in children aged 2–18 years in Canterbury and Auckland will be examined, to identify to following data: incidence, risk factors, clinical course, diagnostic methods. Existing oncology databases will be used in conjunction with chart audit.

Student researcher’s component of the study

  • Reviewing notes
  • Stratifying risk factors
  • Statistical analysis
  • Presentation and publication

Student prerequisites

Medical student.