Editorials

Follow-up of children who survive cancer

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39490.692627.80 (Published 03 April 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:732
  1. Meriel Jenney, consultant paediatric oncologist1,
  2. Gill Levitt, consultant in paediatric oncology and late effects2
  1. 1Children’s Hospital for Wales, Cardiff CF14 4XW
  2. 2Great Ormond Street Hospital, London WC1N 3JH
  1. meriel.jenney@cardiffandvale.wales.nhs.uk

    Should be individually tailored but may not be necessary for all

    More than three quarters of children with cancer survive into adulthood, but cure is not the end of their journey. At least 60% have substantial morbidities as a result of their curative treatment. Most adults who survive cancer are discharged from active follow-up at five years, but historically children have been followed up for life; this is becoming unsustainable. A review published in the BMJ more than five years ago explored strategies for follow-up of children who have survived cancer.1 Has anything changed since then?

    Two large epidemiological studies—one in the United States and the other in the United Kingdom—have since been published.2 3 More than 10 000 survivors in 26 centres participated in the US study, which found that 62% of survivors have some late effects of treatment (common terminology criteria for adverse events (version 3) grade 1-5), with 27% having severe or life threatening conditions (grade 3-5).4 Data …

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