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Incidence and survival of childhood bone cancer in northern England and the West Midlands, 1981-2002

Lookup NU author(s): Richard Feltbower, Emmanuel Mubwandarikwa, Dr Peter James, Professor Mark PearceORCiD, Dr Richard McNallyORCiD


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There is a paucity of population-based studies examining incidence and survival trends in childhood bone tumours. We used high quality data from four population-based registries in England. Incidence patterns and trends were described using Poisson regression. Survival trends were analysed using Cox regression. There were 374 cases of childhood (ages 0-14 years) bone tumours (206 osteosarcomas, 144 Ewing sarcomas, 16 chondrosarcomas, 8 other bone tumours) registered in the period 1981-2002. Overall incidence (per million person years) rates were 2.63 (95% confidence interval (CI) 2.27-2.99) for osteosarcoma, 1.90 (1.58-2.21) for Ewing sarcoma and 0.21 (0.11-0.31) for chondrosarcoma. Incidence of Ewing sarcoma declined at an average rate of 3.1% (95% CI 0.6-5.6) per annum (P = 0.04), which may be due to tumour reclassification, but there was no change in osteosarcoma incidence. Survival showed marked improvement over the 20 years (1981-2000) for Ewing sarcoma (hazard ratio (HR) per annum = 0.95 95% CI 0.91-0.99; P = 0.02). However, no improvement was seen for osteosarcoma patients (HR per annum = 1.02 95% CI 0.98-1.05; P = 0.35) over this time period. Reasons for failure to improve survival including potential delays in diagnosis, accrual to trials, adherence to therapy and lack of improvement in treatment strategies all need to be considered.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Eyre R, Feltbower RG, Mubwandarikwa E, Jenkinson HC, Parkes S, Birch JM, Eden TOB, James PW, McKinney PA, Pearce MS, McNally RJQ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Cancer

Year: 2009

Volume: 100

Issue: 1

Pages: 188-193

ISSN (print): 0007-0920

ISSN (electronic): 1532-1827

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6604837


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