Long-term survivors of childhood cancer are at higher risk of mortality when compared with the general population. This study aims to ascertain if patients who had undergone modern treatments for cancer are at a higher risk of neoplastic and non-neoplastic mortality.

This population-based cohort study included a total of 34,489 survivors of childhood cancer. The researchers utilized multivariable progression to examine the simultaneous effect of fo risk factors and likelihood ratio tests for trend analysis. The primary outcome of the study was cause-specific standardized mortality.

Of 34,489 survivors, 4,475 survivors died. The rate of mortality was 9.1 times higher in survivors when compared with the general population (64.2 excess deaths per 10,000 person-years). The findings further suggested that the risk of death was lower in patients who were treated more recently. The corresponding percentage of decline in excess deaths was 30% from recurrence causes and 60% from non-neoplastic causes. Among survivors aged 50-59 years, 41% of deaths were due to subsequent primary neoplasms and 22% due to circulatory conditions. In patients aged 60 or above, the percentages were 31% and 37%, respectively.

The research concluded that long-term childhood cancer survivors were at 9.1 times higher risk of neoplastic and non-neoplastic mortality when compared with the general population.

Ref: https://www.bmj.com/content/354/bmj.i4351