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Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 1991 Nov;3(6):323-9.

Descriptive epidemiology of primary central nervous system tumours in children: a population-based study.

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Department of Oncology, Children's Hospital, Birmingham, UK.


This study was undertaken to investigate the incidence, outcome and referral patterns of central nervous system tumours in a defined childhood population over a recent 5-year period. The study incorporated pathological review of all available diagnostic material and follow-up assessed survival at a minimum of 5 years from diagnosis. One hundred and forty-seven cases were reviewed, representing an annual incidence of 26.5 per million children aged less than 15 years. The distribution of individual diagnoses by age, sex and anatomical site was similar to comparable data collected previously in the United Kingdom and North America, but the inclusion of 28 cases (19%) without biopsy suggested that the wider use of computed tomography might account for a small increase in incidence over previous estimates. Analysis of referral to the Regional Paediatric Oncology Unit showed that the patients referred were younger than those not referred and were over-represented amongst the diagnoses of medulloblastoma, ependymoma and brain stem glioma, which carry the worst prognosis. Survival for all diagnoses together was 51% at 5 years, ranging from 13% for unbiopsied brain stem gliomas to 100% for juvenile astrocytomas. Referral to the Regional Unit appeared to have some survival advantage for children with medulloblastoma, although this was not statistically significant. Accurately reviewed data such as these are essential in order to assess current workload and treatment success, in addition to enabling investigation of future diagnostic and treatment strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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