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1.  Second and subsequent tumours among 1927 retinoblastoma patients diagnosed in Britain 1951–2004 
British Journal of Cancer  2013;108(12):2455-2463.
Retinoblastoma is an eye tumour of childhood that occurs in heritable and non-heritable forms. In the heritable form, there is a predisposition to the development of non-ocular subsequent primary tumours (SPTs).
This study included 1927 retinoblastoma patients diagnosed in Britain from 1951 to 2004. Ascertainment was through the (UK) National Registry of Childhood Tumours; cases were followed-up for the occurrence of SPTs. Standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated.
We identified 169 SPTs in 152 patients. The SIR analysis included 145 SPTs with cancer registrations from the years 1971 to 2009. These tumours occurred in 132 patients: 112 of the 781 heritable and 20 of the 1075 (presumed) non-heritable cases under surveillance at the start of this period developed at least one registered SPT. The SIRs for all tumours combined were 13.7 (95% confidence interval 11.3–16.5) in heritable cases and 1.5 (0.9–2.3) in non-heritable cases. The main types of SPT in the heritable cases were leiomyosarcoma, (31 cases; SIR 1018.7 (692.2–1446.0)), osteosarcoma (26 cases; SIR 444.6 (290.4–651.4)), and skin melanoma (12 cases; SIR 18.6 (9.6–32.4)).
The risk of SPTs in heritable retinoblastoma is extremely high. This has important implications for the clinical follow-up and counselling of survivors and their families.
PMCID: PMC3694232  PMID: 23674091
retinoblastoma; second tumours; follow-up studies; rates; population studies; sarcomas
2.  Vitreous relapse following primary chemotherapy for retinoblastoma: is adjuvant diode laser a risk factor? 
The British Journal of Ophthalmology  2006;90(9):1168-1172.
To evaluate rates of vitreous relapse among retinoblastoma patients treated with primary chemotherapy and assess diode laser as a potential risk factor for relapse.
Retrospective review of all patients treated with primary chemotherapy at a large ocular oncology centre. Eyes that developed vitreous relapse were coded with regard to Reese‐Ellsworth Group, laterality, time to relapse, type of relapse (vitreous base or non‐vitreous base relapse), treatments used (including adjuvant diode laser), and ocular preservation. Individual tumour foci treated with laser hyperthermia were also coded for laser parameters including power settings, number of treatments, and concomitant administration of systemic chemotherapy (chemothermotherapy).
15 of 106 eyes (14.15%) developed vitreous relapse over a 6 year period. Mean time to relapse was 7.2 months after chemotherapy was completed. Five cases (33%) were of the vitreous base variety. Ocular salvage was attempted in 11 cases using a variety of methods; one patient was lost to follow up. Six of the remaining 10 eyes (60%) were salvaged. Eight of 38 eyes (21%) treated with systemic chemotherapy and laser hyperthermia developed vitreous relapse compared with seven of 68 eyes (10%) treated with primary chemotherapy alone (p<0.005). Laser settings, number of hyperthermia treatments, and the concomitant use of systemic chemotherapy (chemothermotherapy) were not associated with higher rates of vitreous relapse.
Nearly one in seven eyes with retinoblastoma treated with primary chemotherapy may develop vitreous relapse. The administration of diode laser hyperthermia appears to increase this risk. Despite additional therapy a number of these eyes succumb to enucleation.
PMCID: PMC1857400  PMID: 16707528
retinoblastoma; chemotherapy; vitreous relapse; laser hyperthermia; transpupillary thermotherapy; children
3.  Globe conserving treatment of the only eye in bilateral retinoblastoma 
The British Journal of Ophthalmology  2003;87(11):1374-1380.
Aims: To quantify the rates of eye preservation and patient survival, local tumour relapse and recurrence, and development of new tumours in the remaining eye of children with bilateral retinoblastoma with one eye already enucleated. Also, in the same children, to describe the types of primary and secondary treatment procedures, and to define the anatomical outcome.
Methods: This is a retrospective observational case series report. The study participants consisted of 107 patients with bilateral retinoblastoma with one eye enucleated within 1 month of baseline examination and had their remaining eye treated conservatively. The main outcome measure were: primary treatment failures, new tumours, enucleation of the only eye, death, remission, and anatomical outcomes (retinal detachment, vitreous haemorrhage, and cataract).
Results: The median age at diagnosis was 8.4 (range 0.2–44, SD 10.1) months with a median ophthalmic follow up of 44.3 (8.1–114, SD 10.1) months. In 22 of the 107 patients (21%) the treated eye was in Reese Ellsworth groups I or II and in the remaining 85 (79%) in groups III–V at diagnosis. The primary treatment was cryotherapy in 14% (15/107) of eyes, radioactive plaque brachytherapy in 3.7% (4/107), and chemotherapy in 10% (11/107). It was lens sparing radiotherapy in 37% (40/107), whole eye radiotherapy in 29% (31/107), combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy in 2.8% (3/107), chemothermotherapy in 0.9% (1/107), and combined focal therapy in 1.8% (2/107). The primary treatment failed to achieve local tumour control during the follow up period in 37% (40/107) of eyes. In 17 eyes failure was due to inadequate control of the presenting tumour, in 16 to development of a new tumour, and in eight eyes to a combination of both. 35 (88%) of the 40 failures were managed by secondary conservative treatment and the remaining five were treated by enucleation of the only eye. There were eight (7.4%) deaths and the 3 year survival rate was 93% (100/108). Anatomical results included vitreous haemorrhage in four cases, tractional retinal detachment also in four cases, and 24 children required cataract surgery.
Conclusions: Aggressive conservative treatment achieved a good rate of globe salvage without impairing survival.
PMCID: PMC1771893  PMID: 14609838
globe conservation; bilateral retinoblastoma; children
4.  Orbital recurrence of retinoblastoma successfully treated by combined therapy. 
Five children with an orbital recurrence of retinoblastoma have been successfully treated by a combination of excision biopsy of the tumour mass, radical orbital radiotherapy, and systemic chemotherapy. Nine previous children, consecutive with the five presented here, died from disseminated retinoblastoma after failure of earlier treatment programmes for orbital recurrence. An aggressive therapeutic approach is justified by this improvement in survival.
PMCID: PMC1041999  PMID: 2310733
5.  Patterns of multiple primary tumours in patients treated for cancer during childhood. 
British Journal of Cancer  1987;56(3):331-338.
One hundred and sixty one children who have developed more than one primary neoplasm have been identified. Children with tumours of the central nervous system, retinoblastoma and leukaemia were those most frequently observed to develop a second malignancy whilst osteosarcoma was the most common second tumour. The patterns of second neoplasms appear to be changing and a recent increase in the number of children with leukaemia and lymphoma who develop second primary tumours has been observed. In this series, the two most frequent associations of tumours were retinoblastoma followed by osteosarcoma and the combination of acute leukaemia with a tumour of the central nervous system. Genetic factors which may have contributed to the development of the second primary tumour were identified in 53 patients (33%), 33 of whom had the genetic form of retinoblastoma. In an analysis of the treatment of 151 patients, for whom the interval between the two neoplasms was greater than 12 months, the second malignancy was considered to be 'radiation associated' in 93 (61%). Fifty children (33%) had been treated with either single or multiple agent chemotherapy which included an alkylating agent in 38. Forty five children had received a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and of these, 10 developed leukaemia as their second tumour. Of the 19 secondary leukaemias, 16 have occurred in patients treated since 1970.
PMCID: PMC2002193  PMID: 3478072
6.  Childhood rhabdomyosarcoma: experience of the Children's Solid Tumour Group. 
British Journal of Cancer  1983;48(2):195-207.
Seventy three children with rhabdomyosarcoma were treated by members of the Children's Solid Tumour Group during the period, 1974-1981. The extent of disease at diagnosis was found to be the major influence affecting outcome. Children with tumours confined to the tissue of origin with no evidence of nodal or metastatic spread, had a predicted actuarial 5-year survival rate of 86%. However children with 'unconfined' tumours, i.e. those with extension of disease outside the tissue of origin, had a much poorer prognosis with an actuarial 5-year survival rate of only 21%. Two other factors, histological type and site of primary tumour, appeared to affect prognosis but were not independent of the extent of disease at diagnosis. All children were treated according to protocol. Fifty-two patients showed a complete response to initial therapy and 4 of the 11 partial responders achieved a full remission after additional therapy. The overall complete response rate was therefore 77%. Nineteen children who achieved a complete response on initial treatment subsequently relapsed. Only 3 of these children were alive with no evidence of disease 3 years later, a salvage rate of 15%. "Late" relapses, defined as those occurring more than 2 years after diagnosis, were seen in only 5 children, 4 in boys with primary paratesticular tumours.
PMCID: PMC2011433  PMID: 6882660
7.  External beam radiotherapy for retinoblastoma: I. Whole eye technique. 
A retrospective analysis has been performed of the results of external beam radiotherapy for retinoblastoma using a whole eye technique. Local tumour control has been assessed in a consecutive series of 175 eyes in 142 children all of whom received external beam radiotherapy as the primary treatment for retinoblastoma. Follow up ranged from 2 to 17 years (median 9 years). Tumour control rates have been analysed with respect to the Reese Ellsworth classification and the series includes eyes in groups I to V. Focal salvage therapy was given for persistent, recurrent, or new tumours after radiotherapy. Following whole eye radiotherapy alone, the overall ocular cure rate was 57%, though with salvage therapy 80% of eyes could be preserved.
PMCID: PMC505038  PMID: 7696227
8.  External beam radiotherapy for retinoblastoma: II. Lens sparing technique. 
A retrospective analysis is presented of the results of external beam radiotherapy for retinoblastoma utilising an accurate lens sparing technique. Local tumour control has been assessed in a consecutive series of 67 eyes in 53 children all of whom received external beam radiotherapy as the primary treatment of retinoblastoma. Follow up ranged from 12 to 82 months (median 35 months) with 76% of the children followed for more than 2 years. Tumour control rates have been analysed with respect to the Reese-Ellsworth classification. The role of adjuvant and salvage focal therapy is emphasised. Following lens sparing radiotherapy with prior adjuvant treatment of anterior tumours, where appropriate, the overall ocular cure rate was 72%. With salvage therapy of persistent, recurrent, or new tumours, 93% of eyes could be preserved in this series which includes mainly eyes classified in Reese-Ellsworth groups I-III. These results compare favourably with those of whole eye external beam radiotherapy for comparable tumours, and with those of lens and anterior segment sparing using other techniques. They were achieved without the ocular morbidity associated with whole eye external beam radiotherapy.
PMCID: PMC505039  PMID: 7696228
9.  Late deaths and survival after childhood cancer: implications for cure. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1994;309(6948):162-166.
OBJECTIVES--To investigate causes of death and survival in subjects who had survived at least five years after diagnosis of childhood cancer; to compare observed mortality with that expected in the general population; and to compare results with a corresponding cohort diagnosed earlier. DESIGN--Retrospective cohort study. SETTING--Population based National Register of Childhood Tumours. SUBJECTS--9080 five year survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed in Britain during 1971-85, of whom 793 had died. Comparison with corresponding cohort diagnosed during 1940-70. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Cause of death established from all available sources of information (including hospital and general practitioner records and postmortem reports) and underlying cause of death coded on death certificate. RESULTS--Of the 781 deaths for which sufficient information was available, death was attributed to recurrent tumour in 578 (74%) cases, treatment related effect in 121 (15%), second primary tumour in 52 (7%), and other causes in 30 (4%). Comparison of observed mortality with that expected in the general population indicated a fourfold excess of deaths from non-neoplastic causes. The risk of dying of recurrent tumour in the next 10 years after surviving five years from diagnosis during 1940-70 and 1971-85 fell from 12% to 8%. The risk of dying from a treatment related effect increased slightly from 1% to 2%. CONCLUSION--Improvements in five year survival after childhood cancer have been accompanied by a reduction in risk of dying from recurrent tumour during the subsequent 10 years and by a slight increase in risk of dying from treatment related effects. The results provide information relevant to decisions concerning balance between effective treatments and their potentially harmful effects.
PMCID: PMC2540717  PMID: 8044095
10.  Relationship of regression pattern to recurrence in retinoblastoma. 
A retrospective analysis has been conducted of regression patterns following treatment of retinoblastoma by external beam irradiation. There were 180 tumours in 105 eyes of 83 patients. Type I regression was found to be the commonest pattern and occurred in 50% of cases. Initial tumour size was found to be the only statistically significant determinant of regression pattern (p < 0.01). Thirteen tumours (7%) recurred within a median interval to recurrence of 12 months. All recurrences occurred within 40 months of completion of treatment and none occurred after age 4 years. No tumour less than 6 mm in diameter recurred. Although 10 out of 13 recurrences were of Type I, Cox model regression analysis showed initial tumour size to be the only independent predictor of recurrence (p < 0.01).
PMCID: PMC504414  PMID: 8435390
11.  Outcome of children with resistant and relapsed Hodgkin's disease. 
British Journal of Cancer  1992;66(6):1155-1158.
During the period 1974-89, 169 children with Hodgkin's disease were treated in the Paediatric Oncology Units of the Royal Marsden and St Bartholomew's Hospitals. The overall actuarial survival for the whole group was 81% at 10 years. Thirty-five of the 169 children either did not achieve a complete remission or subsequently relapsed. The estimated actuarial survival from initial relapse or failure of primary treatment was 60% at 5 years and 45% at 10 years. Over half of the patients requiring salvage therapy had declared themselves within 2 years and only 3 relapses occurred more than 3 years from diagnosis. Very few patients remain disease free long term after failure of primary and initial salvage therapy. Patients relapsing within a year of diagnosis or not achieving a complete response to primary therapy and those with disseminated relapse had a poor response to salvage therapy. A significant subgroup of patients had prolonged survival despite multiple relapses. Neither initial histology nor stage affected survival from relapse although numbers in each subgroup were small.
PMCID: PMC1978034  PMID: 1457357
12.  Causes of death in children diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma between 1974 and 1985. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1992;67(11):1378-1383.
An investigation has been undertaken of 479 deaths occurring up to the end of 1990 among 883 patients diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma from 1974 to 1985 who were included in the population based National Registry of Childhood Tumours. The objectives were to perform a descriptive analysis looking particularly at the deaths not directly due to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, to determine the frequency of the different causes of death and to study the trends over time. Among the 476 patients with sufficient information for the cause of death to be established, these were: non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, 377 (79%); treatment related (other than second primary tumour), 86 (18%); second primary tumour, 10 (2%); and other, three (1%). The proportion of all deaths not directly due to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma increased from 15% for those diagnosed during 1974-6 to 32% for those diagnosed during 1983-5. Among the 86 treatment related deaths, the more precise causes were bacterial infections, 26 (30%); viral and other infection, 14 (16%); metabolic, 19 (22%); renal, eight (9%); anaesthetic related, seven (8%); respiratory, four (5%); cardiac, three (3%); graft versus host disease, three (3%); and other, two (2%). Treatment related deaths from infection accounted for 27 (6%) of all patients diagnosed in 1974-9, and 13 (3%) in 1980-5. Treatment related deaths not due to infection occurred in 23 (5%) of those diagnosed in 1974-9 and 23 (6%) in 1980-5. Five treatment related deaths, including four anaesthetic related deaths, were identified as avoidable. Some of the deaths from metabolic and renal disease may also have been avoidable. Only 11 deaths have been recorded more than five years after diagnosis, six being due to second primary tumours. As follow up is relatively short for patients diagnosed more recently, further deaths from second malignancies and treatment related cardiovascular problems may well occur. A substantial number of children with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma die to treatment related causes. Deaths from infection have decreased in line with the overall improvement in survival rates. Other treatment related mortality has remained constant. Further improvements in survival for childhood non-Hodgkin's lymphoma will depend on maintaining the fine balance between the therapeutic value of intensive treatment and its potential harmful effects.
PMCID: PMC1793760  PMID: 1471892
13.  High level amplification of N-MYC is not associated with adverse histology or outcome in primary retinoblastoma tumours 
British Journal of Cancer  2002;87(7):779-782.
Twenty-five primary retinoblastoma tumours were analysed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction to determine the genomic copy number of the N-MYC gene (2p24) relative to the copy number for REL, B2M, ALB, AF10 and MLL. Twenty-one of these tumours were shown by Comparative Genomic Hybridization to contain variable copy number increases of chromosomal material mapping to 2p. High level amplification (>30-fold) of N-MYC was found in three tumours, none of which showed adverse histological features and all patients are surviving at between 54 and 108 months post enucleation. Furthermore, the three tumours associated with metastasis and adverse patient outcome showed normal N-MYC copy number. Although high level amplification of N-MYC is an unfavourable prognostic indicator in neuroblastoma, these data show no evidence of a correlation between amplification of N-MYC and adverse outcome in retinoblastoma.
British Journal of Cancer (2002) 87, 779–782. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600532
© 2002 Cancer Research UK
PMCID: PMC2364265  PMID: 12232763
N-MYC; retinoblastoma; real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RQ–PCR); outcome
14.  Epipodophyllotoxins, alkylating agents, and radiation and risk of secondary leukaemia after childhood cancer. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1992;304(6832):951-958.
OBJECTIVE--To investigate the incidence and aetiology of secondary leukaemia after childhood cancer in Britain. DESIGN--Cohort study and a case-control study. SETTING--Britain and population based National Register of Childhood Tumours. SUBJECTS--Cohort of 16,422 one year survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed in Britain between 1962 and 1983, among whom 22 secondary leukaemias were observed. A case-control study of 26 secondary leukaemias observed among survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed in Britain between 1940 and 1983; 96 controls were selected matched for sex, type of first cancer, age at first cancer, and interval to diagnosis of secondary leukaemia. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Dose of radiation averaged over patients' active bone marrow and total accumulated dose of epipodophyllotoxins, alkylating agents, vinca alkaloids, antimetabolites, and antibiotics (mg/m2) given for the original cancer. RESULTS--Cumulative risk of secondary leukaemia within the cohort did not exceed 0.5% over the initial five years beyond one year survival, except that after non-Hodgkin's lymphomas 1.4% of patients developed secondary leukaemia. Corresponding figure for patients treated for non-Hodgkin's lymphomas in the early 1980s was 4%. The relative risk of secondary leukaemia increased significantly with exposure to epipodophyllotoxins and dose of radiation averaged over patients' active bone marrow. Ten patients developed leukaemia after having an epipodophyllotoxin-teniposide in nine cases, etoposide in one. Chromosomal translocations involving 11q23 were observed relating to two secondary leukaemias from a total of six for which there were successful cytogenetic studies after administration of an epipodophyllotoxin. CONCLUSIONS--Epipodophyllotoxins acting alone or together with alkylating agents or radiation seem to be involved in secondary leukaemia after childhood cancer.
PMCID: PMC1882326  PMID: 1581717
15.  Platinum-based chemotherapy for recurrent CNS tumours in young patients. 
Twenty nine patients (median age 12 years) with a CNS tumour, received platinum-based chemotherapy for assessable disease. In 23 patients there was an objective response with improvement lasting for a median duration of 11 months. There was little difference in the response to cisplatinum or carboplatin therapy. The response rates in specific disease groups were: medulloblastoma 8/10, two with a complete response (CR) and six with a partial response (PR); ependymoma 1/5 PR; pineal retinoblastoma 5/5 with three CR and two PR; primitive neurectodermal tumours (PNET) 2/2 PR and pineal germ cell tumours 6/6 with four CR and two PR. It is concluded that platinum-based chemotherapy has a beneficial effect on CNS tumours of the CNS, especially medulloblastoma, ectopic intracranial retino-blastoma and pineal germ cell tumours.
PMCID: PMC1014479  PMID: 1940946
16.  Late deaths after treatment for childhood cancer. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1990;65(12):1356-1363.
An investigation of 749 deaths occurring among 4082 patients surviving at least five years after the diagnosis of childhood cancer in Britain before 1971 has been undertaken. Of the 738 with sufficient information the numbers of deaths attributable to the following causes were: recurrent tumour, 550 (74%), a second primary tumour, 61 (8%), a medical condition related to treatment of the tumour, 49 (7%), an traumatic death unrelated to the tumour or its treatment, 34 (5%), finally, any other cause unrelated to the tumour or its treatment, 44 (6%). Less than 10% of five year survivors of non-Hodgkin lymphomas, neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, Wilms' tumour, or a soft tissue sarcoma died of recurrent tumour during the next 15 years, while more than 25% of five year survivors of Hodgkin's disease, ependymoma, medulloblastoma, and Ewing's tumour died of recurrent tumour during the corresponding period. Almost 50% of five year survivors of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia died of recurrent disease during the corresponding 15 years, a large proportion of deaths being due to central nervous system relapse in an era before central nervous system prophylaxis was routinely given. Comparison of the mortality observed with that expected from mortality rates in the general population indicated three times the expected number of deaths from non-neoplastic causes. Five times the expected number of deaths from cardiovascular causes were observed, these were predominantly myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular accidents. There was no evidence of an excess in the number of suicides observed, but there were three times the expected number of deaths from accidents observed after central nervous system tumours. Two groups of patients were identified whose deaths were potentially avoidable. Seven patients with craniopharyngioma and panhypopituitarism presented with addisonian crises during periods of stress not adequately covered by exogenous corticosteroids. In the other group were children who received radiotherapy and later developed problems related to radiation fibrosis. We emphasize that our investigation relates to patients diagnosed with childhood cancer before 1971. The pattern of mortality that will emerge after recent treatment regimens, in which chemotherapy is being used more extensively, is likely to be different from that observed in our study.
PMCID: PMC1793098  PMID: 2270944
19.  Testicular function following the treatment of Hodgkin's disease in childhood. 
British Journal of Cancer  1993;68(6):1199-1204.
Testicular function was studied in 40 males treated in childhood for Hodgkin's disease at St Bartholomew's Hospital, and the Hospital for Sick Children, London, between 1971-1985. All patients were 16 years or over at evaluation, and off treatment more than 6 years. Basal FSH, LH and testosterone levels were measured. Testicular size was measured using a Prader orchidometer, and all patients were offered a seminal analysis. Twenty-eight patients were treated with chemotherapy, usually ChlVPP. Twenty-one also had radiotherapy, five below the diaphragm. Twelve patients were treated with radiotherapy alone (five below the diaphragm). Twenty-six of 28 patients treated with chemotherapy and three of five patients treated with radiotherapy alone below the diaphragm have elevated basal FSH levels, and 18 of these also have elevated basal LH levels. Median testicular volume is 11 ml (range 5-25 ml). Eleven of 13 patients investigated are azoospermic. All patients have normal testosterone levels, and normal secondary sexual characteristics. There is no biochemical evidence of healing of the damaged germinal epithelium with elevated FSH levels persisting up to 17 years from the end of therapy. These results indicate a high incidence of damage to the germinal epithelium in patients treated with ChlVPP chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy below the diaphragm. Appropriate counselling of these patients with regard to their reproductive capabilities is essential.
PMCID: PMC1968630  PMID: 8260374
21.  123I metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) scintigraphy of retinoblastoma: preliminary experience. 
123I metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) is a radiopharmaceutical used for imaging neural crest tumours. The possibility of using 123I MIBG for imaging retinoblastomas has been assessed in this pilot study. Ten patients were studied, nine with clinically and histologically proved retinoblastomas and one with Coats's disease. 123I MIBG scintigraphy correctly identified the neoplasm in eight patients but gave a negative result in two, one of whom had Coats's disease and the other a retinoblastoma which proved to be extensively necrotic on histological examination. These preliminary results suggest that 123I MIBG scintigraphy may have a role in differentiating retinoblastomas from lesions that simulate them.
PMCID: PMC1041673  PMID: 2930761
22.  Retinoblastoma in Great Britain 1969-80: incidence, treatment, and survival. 
Patients with retinoblastoma diagnosed from 1969 to 1980 have been followed up for periods of up to 17 years. Data from a previous study of patients diagnosed from 1962 to 1968 have been included for analysis of incidence and second primary tumours, and for study of trends in treatment. The registration rate in Britain (which may be about 10% less than the true incidence) is about one in 23,000 live births, approximately 40% of cases being known to be genetic. There is no apparent trend in incidence during the period covered by these two studies. The three-year survival rate in 88%. Patients with bilateral tumours have a better survival rate than those with unilateral tumours for the first few years, but their long-term survival rate is worse because of later deaths from ectopic intracranial retinoblastoma or second primary neoplasms. Older children tend to have a worse prognosis, which is related to the fact that their tumours are diagnosed at a more advanced stage. There is a significantly higher survival rate for boys than for girls; this is partly accounted for by difference in age and stage at diagnosis between the sexes. Children referred to units specialising in the treatment of retinoblastoma have a higher three-year survival rate than those treated at other hospitals. Comparing methods of treatment between the periods 1962-8 and 1969-80, we find there has been a trend towards more conservative treatment. The use of chemotherapy is now usually reserved for recurrences and metastases and for palliative treatment in terminal retinoblastoma.
PMCID: PMC1041531  PMID: 3415951
23.  Incidence of second primary tumours among childhood cancer survivors. 
British Journal of Cancer  1987;56(3):339-347.
Among a cohort of 10,106 three-year survivors of childhood cancer, 90 second primary tumours (SPTs) were observed. Within 25 years of 3-year survival about 4% developed a SPT, about 6-fold expected, the relative risk not varying much with increasing follow-up. Following genetic retinoblastoma we observed 30-fold the expected number of SPTs, and over 400-fold the expected number of osteosarcomas. The risk of SPT in the absence of radiotherapy and chemotherapy (inherent risk) following genetic retinoblastoma was 13-fold expected and over 200-fold the expected number of osteosarcomas were observed. There was evidence that both radiotherapy and cyclophosphamide were associated with an increased risk of SPT. After all first primary tumours (FPTs) excluding retinoblastoma we observed almost 5-fold the expected number of SPTs. The inherent risk was 4-fold expected, the relative risks associated with radiotherapy but no chemotherapy, and both radiotherapy and chemotherapy were 6- and 9-fold expected respectively. There were about 20-fold the number of malignant bone tumours expected, most were osteosarcoma; also 7-fold the number of central nervous system tumours expected. There were 8 basal cell carcinomas and it seems likely that radiotherapy was involved in the development of some of these. Radiotherapy appears to have been involved in the development of many of the SPTs observed following all FPTs excluding retinoblastoma, particularly after CNS tumours, Wilms' tumour and Hodgkin's disease. Currently there is insufficient follow-up to examine the risk following chemotherapy. After acute leukaemia there was 20-fold the expected number of central nervous system tumours, though this is based on only 3 cases; whether therapy is directly involved in their development is uncertain. The risks we report are rarely greater than those reported in previous large-scale studies; in most instances they are substantially less. It is very unlikely that many SPTs were missed with our follow-up system so alternative explanations require further investigation; in particular it is possible the lower risks in our data compared to series treated in the United States may be explained, in part, by less combination therapy and lower doses of radiotherapy.
PMCID: PMC2002190  PMID: 2822073
24.  Efficacy of varicella vaccine in patients with solid tumours. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1987;62(6):569-572.
Thirty nine children with malignant disease and without antibodies to varicella zoster virus were immunised with a live Oka strain varicella vaccine. Seroconversion was shown in 24 of those who were vaccinated but five of 18 who responded to the vaccine who were followed up for over six months subsequently lost their antibodies. Of 10 children who were revaccinated, nine responded to the second dose but three lost their antibodies within six months to two years. Four children developed reactions related to the vaccine, one local and three generalised, but all these were transitory and of no clinical concern. Nine of those who were vaccinated, including four who did not respond to the vaccine, have subsequently had close exposure to varicella but none has developed the disease.
PMCID: PMC1778429  PMID: 3039925
25.  Second primary neoplasms in patients with retinoblastoma. 
British Journal of Cancer  1986;53(5):661-671.
In a series of 882 retinoblastoma patients, 384 known to have the genetic form of the disease and 498 others, 30 patients developed second primary neoplasms. The spectrum of these second neoplasms is discussed in relation to the forms of treatment used for the retinoblastoma. Cumulative incidence rates of second tumours in the whole series are 2.0% at 12 years after diagnosis and 4.2% after 18 years. For patients with the genetic form of retinoblastoma the cumulative incidence rate after 18 years is 8.4% for all second neoplasms and 6.0% for osteosarcomas alone. The inherent risk among survivors from genetic retinoblastoma of developing an osteosarcoma, excluding all possible effects of treatment, is estimated to be 2.2% after 18 years. Within the field of radiation treatment the cumulative incidence rate for all second neoplasms after 18 years is 6.6% and for osteosarcomas alone 3.7%. There is some evidence that patients with genetic retinoblastoma are particularly sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of radiation. The results also suggest that the use of cyclophosphamide may increase the risk of second primary neoplasms in patients with genetic retinoblastoma. The incidence rates of second primary neoplasms in retinoblastoma survivors reported here are lower than those quoted for previously published series. Evidence from this and other papers strongly suggests an association between retinoblastoma and malignant melanoma.
PMCID: PMC2001387  PMID: 3718823

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