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Centre de recherche
Monday, September 14 2009

Side-effects of childhood cancer in adulthood. New study published in Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Montreal, September 4, 2009 – Survivors of neuroblastoma, a cancer that affects young children, are eight times more likely to have chronic health conditions as adults, less likely to be married and more likely to have lower incomes than their siblings, according to a Canada-U.S. study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Led by Caroline Laverdière, a pediatrics professor at the Université de Montréal and a researcher at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center, the study examined the long-term social consequences on adult survivors of neuroblastoma, which causes tumours in the neck, chest, pelvis, abdomen or spinal cord and requires aggressive treatments such as surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

The study examined the data of 954 neuroblastoma survivors diagnosed from 1970 to 1986 who enrolled in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS). Two decades later, the scientific team examined mortality, recurrent malignant tumours and chronic health conditions.

The researchers also compared participants with a cohort of 3,899 siblings of children with cancer. Twenty years after their neuroblastoma, survivors were less likely to be married or employed with high income than the sibling cohort. Cancer survivors were more than eight times more likely to have chronic health conditions, such as neurological, endocrine, sensory and musculoskeletal complications.

“Results of the current study underscore the need for close surveillance and life-long follow-up to improve potential medical and psychosocial effects of neuroblastoma,” says Dr. Laverdière. “Future research should build on these findings and investigate risk factors for long-term complications of neuroblastoma treatment and second malignant tumour.”

Persons mentioned in the text

About the Study:
The article “Long-term Outcomes in Survivors of Neuroblastoma: A Report From the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study,” published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, was authored by Caroline Laverdière, Qi Liu, Yutaka Yasui, Paul C. Nathan, James G. Gurney, Marilyn Stovall, Lisa R. Diller, Nai-Kong Cheung, Suzanne Wolden, Leslie L. Robison and Charles A. Sklar.

Partners in Research:
This study was funded by the National Cancer Institute of Canada with funds from the Terry Fox Run and by the National Cancer Institute and the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities in the United States.

On the Web:
About Journal of the National Cancer Institute: http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/djp284
About the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Medicine: www.med.umontreal.ca
About the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center: www.recherche-sainte-justine.qc.ca/en

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Updated on 11/20/2014
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