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Home Industry News Childhood cancer survivors ‘experiencing longer lifespans’

Childhood cancer survivors ‘experiencing longer lifespans’

18th January 2016

Long-term survival rates among people who experienced cancer as children are improving, a new study has shown.

The St Jude Children's Research Hospital study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, examined 34,033 childhood cancer survivors whose cancers were diagnosed and treated between 1970 and 1999.

It was revealed that the 15-year death rate among survivors has decreased steadily since 1970, dropping from 12.4 per cent in 1970-74 to six per cent in 1990-94. Deaths from the late effects of treatment also decreased during this period.

This trend has been attributed to changes in paediatric cancer therapy and follow-up care, including reductions in the use and dose of radiation therapy and chemotherapy drugs that can have serious long-term health effects.

Patients diagnosed with standard-risk acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Hodgkin lymphoma or Wilms tumour as their primary childhood cancer were shown to have benefited most prominently.

Study leader Dr Greg Armstrong, an associate member of the department of epidemiology and cancer control at St Jude Children's Research Hospital, said: "The results are a testament to the physicians and scientists who in the past 30 years took a calculated risk of developing new protocols that used less intense therapies that reduced the risk of late effects and maintained excellent five-year survival."ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801810308-ADNFCR

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