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Eur J Radiol. 2001 Jun;38(3):235-48.

Second malignancies in children: the usual suspects?

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  • 1Department of Paediatric Oncology, Bristol Royal Hospital for Sick Children, St. Michael's Hill, BS2 8BJ, Bristol, UK.


The aim of this article is to provide an up to date review of second malignant neoplasms (SMN's) following treatment for childhood cancer, referring to their incidence, the role of genetic factors, and how the primary malignancy and treatment received influence the type, site and prognosis of SMN's. The role of genetic factors will be discussed as far as they impact upon a predisposition to later development of SMN's. The primary malignancies that have important associations with SMN's will then be discussed, in particular Hodgkin's disease, retinoblastoma and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. The important second malignancies will be highlighted, including tumours of the CNS and thyroid, osteosarcoma, secondary acute myeloid leukaemia and melanoma. Emphasis will be put upon identifying which patients are most likely to suffer from these tumours. An important part of the article are case histories. These are provided in combination with illustrations as a useful adjunct to the text, with a particular emphasis on radiological features, diagnosis and screening. Finally, the important but different roles of causal agents, in particular chemotherapy and radiotherapy are highlighted.

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