Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Clin Oncol. 2010 Mar 1;28(7):1224-31. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2009.24.4608. Epub 2010 Feb 1.

Temporal trends in cause-specific late mortality among 5-year survivors of childhood cancer.

Author information

MSCE, Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Mail Stop 735, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.



Five-year survival rates for childhood cancer have improved over the past four decades. However, it is unknown whether changes in primary cancer therapy have improved rates of long-term (> 5 years from diagnosis) durable remissions and reduced treatment-related deaths. We investigated changes in patterns of late mortality over time and cause-specific attribution of late-mortality among 5-year survivors.


Using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) population-based registry, we assessed all-cause and cause-specific (recurrence/progression of primary disease, external cause, and nonrecurrence/nonexternal cause) late mortality during four consecutive time periods from 1974 through 2000 among 26,643 5-year survivors of childhood cancer.


All-cause late mortality improved during more recent eras, dropping from 7.1% (95% CI, 6.4% to 7.8%) among children diagnosed during 1974 to 1980 to 3.9% (95% CI, 3.3% to 4.4%) among children diagnosed during 1995 to 2000 (P < .001), largely because of reduced mortality from recurrence or progression. While there was no significant reduction in mortality attributable to other health conditions (including treatment-related health conditions), analysis controlling for demographic characteristics identified a trend toward reduced risk during more recent eras (P = .007). Disparity by race/ethnicity was identified, with higher mortality among non-Hispanic blacks than among non-Hispanic whites for all-cause and nonrecurrence/nonexternal -cause late mortality.


While overall patterns of mortality from other health conditions do not differ over time, adjustment for demographic characteristics provides evidence that risk of treatment-related mortality may be lower in more recent eras. Disparities in health care utilization among survivors should be explored.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center