Women treated with therapeutic chest radiation may develop breast cancer.
Summarize breast cancer risk and breast cancer surveillance in women following chest radiation for a pediatric or young adult cancer.
Studies from MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, and CINAHL (1966 through December 2008).
Articles selected to answer any of 3 questions: 1) What is the incidence and excess risk of breast cancer in women following chest radiation for a pediatric or young adult cancer? 2) For these women, are the clinical characteristics of the breast cancer and the outcomes following therapy different than for women with sporadic breast cancer in the general population? 3) What are the potential benefits and harms associated with breast cancer surveillance among women exposed to chest radiation?
Three investigators independently extracted data and assessed study quality.
Standardized incidence ratios ranged from 13.3 to 55.5; cumulative incidence of breast cancer by 40–45 years of age ranged from 13–20%. Risk of breast cancer increased linearly with chest radiation dose. Available limited evidence suggests that the characteristics of the breast cancers in these women and the outcomes following diagnosis are similar to those in the general population; these breast cancers can be detected by mammography, though sensitivity is limited.
Limitations include study heterogeneity, design and small sample size.
Women treated with chest radiation have a substantially elevated risk of breast cancer at a young age, which does not appear to plateau. Among this high risk population, there appears to be a benefit associated with early detection. Further research is required to better define the harms and benefits of lifelong surveillance.
To determine the prevalence of pulmonary hypertension, a late effect of cancer therapy not previously identified in aging survivors of childhood cancer, and associations with chest-directed radiation therapy (RT) and measures of current cardiac function, lung function, and exercise capacity.
Patients and Methods
Cross-sectional evaluation of 498 survivors at a median age of 38.0 years (range, 20.0 to 59.0 years) and a median of 27.3 years (range, 12.2 to 46.0 years) from primary cancer diagnosis was performed. Abnormal tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity (TRV) was defined as more than 2.8 m/s by Doppler echocardiography.
Increased TRV was identified in 25.2% of survivors who received chest-directed RT and 30.8% of those who received more than 30 Gy. In multivariable models, increased TRV was associated with increasing dose of RT (1 to 19.9 Gy: odds ratio [OR], 2.09; 95% CI, 0.63 to 6.96; 20 to 29.9 Gy: OR, 3.46; 95% CI, 1.59 to 7.54; ≥ 30 Gy: OR, 4.54; 95% CI, 1.77 to 11.64 compared with no RT; P for trend < .001), body mass index more than 40 kg/m2 (OR, 3.89; 95% CI, 1.46 to 10.39), and aortic valve regurgitation (OR, 5.85; 95% CI, 2.05 to 16.74). Survivors with a TRV more than 2.8 m/s had increased odds (OR, 5.20; 95% CI, 2.5 to 11.0) of severe functional limitation on a 6-minute walk compared with survivors with a TRV ≤ 2.8 m/s.
A substantial number of adult survivors of childhood cancer who received chest-directed RT have an increased TRV and may have pulmonary hypertension as a result of both direct lung injury and cardiac dysfunction. Longitudinal follow-up and confirmation by cardiac catheterization are warranted.
Purpose of review
Five-year survival for many childhood cancers approaches 80%, and there is a growing number of long-term survivors in the U.S.. These survivors are at risk for developing adverse health-related complications. We highlight recently published studies that provide new insight into the association between specific therapeutic exposures and late-occurring complications such as second malignant neoplasms, cardiovascular disease, endocrinopathies, and neurocognitive impairment.
The incidence for many long-term complications continues to increase with longer follow-up. Investigators have begun to explore the impact of aging and the role of genetic susceptibility as modifiers of risk in diseases where there is a clear association between therapeutic exposure and adverse outcome. Increased awareness of the importance of screening has set the stage for assessment of the impact of early detection for reduction of long-term morbidity and mortality among childhood cancer survivors at highest risk for therapy-related complications.
The long-term health-related burden in childhood cancer survivors is substantial. Recent studies exploring etiopathogenesis of treatment-related late effects have provided important information that will assist in ongoing efforts to develop personalized cancer care. Efficacious medical interventions are needed to help mitigate treatment-related complications in high risk survivors.
Childhood cancer; Survivorship; Late effects; Genetics; Medical interventions
As the number of cancer survivors continues to grow, research investigating the factors that affect cancer outcomes, such as disease recurrence, risk of second malignant neoplasms, and the late effects of cancer treatments, becomes ever more important. Numerous epidemiologic studies have investigated factors that affect cancer risk, but far fewer have addressed the extent to which demographic, lifestyle, genomic, clinical, and psychosocial factors influence cancer outcomes. To identify research priorities as well as resources and infrastructure needed to advance the field of cancer outcomes and survivorship research, the National Cancer Institute sponsored a workshop titled “Utilizing Data from Cancer Survivor Cohorts: Understanding the Current State of Knowledge and Developing Future Research Priorities” on November 3, 2011, in Washington, DC. This commentary highlights recent findings presented at the workshop, opportunities to leverage existing data, and recommendations for future research, data, and infrastructure needed to address high priority clinical and research questions. Multidisciplinary teams that include epidemiologists, clinicians, biostatisticians, and bioinformaticists will be essential to facilitate future cancer outcome studies focused on improving clinical care of cancer patients, identifying those at high risk of poor outcomes, and implementing effective interventions to ultimately improve the quality and duration of survival.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will expand health insurance options for cancer survivors in the United States. It is unclear how this legislation will affect their access to employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI). We describe the health insurance experiences for survivors of childhood cancer with and without ESI.
We conducted a series of qualitative interviews with 32 adult survivors from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study to assess their employment-related concerns and decisions regarding health insurance coverage. Interviews were performed from August to December 2009 and were recorded, transcribed, and content analyzed using NVivo 8.
Uninsured survivors described ongoing employment limitations, such as being employed at part-time capacity, which affected their access to ESI coverage. These survivors acknowledged they could not afford insurance without employer support. Survivors on ESI had previously been denied health insurance due to their pre-existing health conditions until they obtained coverage through an employer. Survivors feared losing their ESI coverage, which created a disincentive to making career transitions. Others reported worries about insurance rescission if their cancer history was discovered. Survivors on ESI reported financial barriers in their ability to pay for health care.
Childhood cancer survivors face barriers to obtaining employer-sponsored health insurance. While Affordable Care Act provisions may mitigate insurance barriers for cancer survivors, many will still face cost barriers to affording health care without employer support.
Employer-sponsored health insurance; childhood cancer survivors; Affordable Care Act; Insurance reform
The differential effects of cranial (CRT), spinal (SRT), and total body irradiation (TBI) on growth and endocrine outcomes have rarely been examined in combination among childhood acute leukemia survivors.
Self-reported height/weight, hypothyroidism, and pregnancy/live birth were determined among acute lymphoblastic and myeloid leukemia survivors (n=3,467) participating in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, an ongoing cohort study of 5-year survivors of pediatric cancers diagnosed from 1970 to 1986.
Compared with no radiotherapy, risk estimates were consistent across outcomes (adult short stature, hypothyroidism, absence of pregnancy/live birth) with CRT treatment associated with 2–3 fold increased risks, TBI associated with 5–10 fold increased risks, and CRT+TBI associated with >10 fold increased risks. Exposure to any SRT further increased risk of these outcomes 2–3 fold. Changes in body composition were more nuanced as CRT only was associated with an increased risk of being overweight/obese (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.3–1.9) whereas TBI only was associated with an increased risk of being underweight (OR 6.0, 95% CI 2.4–14.9).
Although patients treated with CRT+TBI were at greatest risk for short stature, hypothyroidism, and a reduced likelihood of pregnancy/live birth, those treated with either modality alone had significantly increased risks as well, including altered body composition. Any SRT exposure further increased risk in an independent fashion.
leukemia; childhood; survivor; growth; hypothyroidism; pregnancy
Abdominal aortic calcification (AAC), metabolic syndrome, and low bone mineral density (BMD) are risk factors for atherosclerotic disease and cardiovascular morbidity. We evaluated AAC in 662 adult survivors of childhood ALL (median age 31 years). AAC was present in 10% of subjects, metabolic syndrome in 36%, and low BMD in 29%. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) for AAC among women with metabolic syndrome was 2.3 (95% CL=1.0, 4.3). The OR for AAC in men with low BMD was 3.1 (95% CL=1.3, 7.3). A substantial proportion of adult survivors of childhood ALL have AAC and/or metabolic syndrome, suggestive of early atherosclerotic disease.
adverse late effects; bone mineral density; cancer; cardiovascular disease; epidemiology; metabolic syndrome
Although reductions in bone mineral density are well-documented among children during treatment for cancer and among childhood cancer survivors, little is known about the long-term risk of fracture. The aim of this study was to ascertain the prevalence of and risk factors for fractures among individuals participating in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS).
Analyses included 7414 5+ year survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed between 1970-86 who completed the 2007 CCSS follow-up questionnaire and a comparison group of 2374 siblings. Generalized linear models stratified by sex were used to compare the prevalence of reported fractures between survivors and siblings.
The median ages at follow-up among survivors and siblings were 36.2, (range: 21.2-58.8) and 38.1 years (range: 18.4-62.6), respectively with a median 22.7 years of follow-up after cancer diagnosis for survivors. Approximately 35% of survivors and 39% of siblings reported ≥1 fractures during their lifetime. The prevalence of fractures was lower among survivors than siblings, both in males (prevalence ratio=0.87, 95%CI=0.81-0.94, p<0.001) and females (prevalence ratio=0.94, 95%CI=0.86-1.04, p=0.22). In multivariable analyses, increasing age at follow-up, white race, methotrexate treatment and balance difficulties were associated with increased prevalence of fractures among female survivors (p=0.05). Among males, only smoking history and white race were associated with an increased prevalence of fracture (p<0.001).
Findings from this study indicate that the prevalence of fractures among adult survivors is not increased compared to that of siblings. Additional studies of bone health among aging female cancer survivors may be warranted.
Childhood cancer survivors experience an increased incidence of subsequent neoplasms (SNs). Those surviving the first SN (SN1) remain at risk to develop multiple SNs. Because SNs are a common cause of late morbidity and mortality, characterization of rates of multiple SNs is needed.
Patients and Methods
In a total of 14,358 5-year survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed between 1970 and 1986, analyses were carried out among 1,382 survivors with an SN1. Cumulative incidence of second subsequent neoplasm (SN2), either malignant or benign, was calculated.
A total of 1,382 survivors (9.6%) developed SN1, of whom 386 (27.9%) developed SN2. Of those with SN2, 153 (39.6%) developed more than two SNs. Cumulative incidence of SN2 was 46.9% (95% CI, 41.6% to 52.2%) at 20 years after SN1. The cumulative incidence of SN2 among radiation-exposed survivors was 41.3% (95% CI, 37.2% to 45.4%) at 15 years compared with 25.7% (95% CI, 16.5% to 34.9%) for those not treated with radiation. Radiation-exposed survivors who developed an SN1 of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) had a cumulative incidence of subsequent malignant neoplasm (SMN; ie, malignancies excluding NMSC) of 20.3% (95% CI, 13.0% to 27.6%) at 15 years compared with only 10.7% (95% CI, 7.2% to 14.2%) for those who were exposed to radiation and whose SN1 was an invasive SMN (excluding NMSC).
Multiple SNs are common among aging survivors of childhood cancer. SN1 of NMSC identifies a population at high risk for invasive SMN. Survivors not exposed to radiation who develop multiple SNs represent a population of interest for studying genetic susceptibility to neoplasia.
Long-term survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) are at risk for cardiopulmonary complications and CNS stroke, although neurocognitive function has not been previously examined. The aim of this study was to examine neurocognitive and brain imaging outcomes in adult survivors of childhood HL.
Patients and Methods
In all, 62 adult survivors (mean age, 42.2 years; standard deviation [SD], 4.77; mean age at diagnosis, 15.1 years; SD, 3.30) were identified by stratified random selection from a large cohort treated with either high-dose (≥ 30 Gy) thoracic radiation (n = 38) or lower-dose (< 30 Gy) thoracic radiation combined with anthracycline (n = 24). Patients underwent neurocognitive evaluations, brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), echocardiograms, pulmonary function tests, and physical examinations.
Compared with national age-adjusted norms, HL survivors demonstrated lower performance on sustained attention (P = .004), short-term memory (P = .001), long-term memory (P = .006), working memory (P < .001), naming speed (P < .001), and cognitive fluency (P = .007). MRI revealed leukoencephalopathy in 53% of survivors, and 37% had evidence of cerebrovascular injury. Higher thoracic radiation dose was associated with impaired cardiac diastolic function (E/E′; ratio of peak mitral flow velocity of early rapid filling [E] to early diastolic velocity of the mitral annulus [E′]; P = .003), impaired pulmonary function (diffusing capacity of lungs for carbon monoxide [DLcocorr; P = .04), and leukoencephalopathy (P = .02). Survivors with leukoencephalopathy demonstrated reduced cognitive fluency (P = .001). Working memory impairment was associated with E/E′, although impaired sustained attention and naming speed were associated with DLcocorr. Neurocognitive performance was associated with academic and vocational functioning.
These results suggest that adult long-term survivors of childhood HL are at risk for neurocognitive impairment, which is associated with radiologic indices suggestive of reduced brain integrity and which occurs in the presence of symptoms of cardiopulmonary dysfunction.
Analysis of biological samples in large cohort studies may provide insight into the mechanism of, and risk factors for, disease onset and progression.
This study describes the methods used to collect biological samples from a large multi-center cohort of childhood cancer survivors and siblings of childhood cancer survivors, and evaluates the predictors of a positive response among these individuals.
Among survivors, female sex, white race/ethnicity, college graduation, never smoking, accessing the health care system in the past two years, and having a second malignant neoplasm were the strongest predictors of returning a sample. Among siblings, a similar demographic profile defined those likely to submit the requested sample.
To reduce selection bias and increase the value of these samples for future analysis, additional phone calls and reminders targeting non-responders are needed to improve response rates among those least likely to respond to a single mailed request.
neoplasm; pediatric; buccal mucosa; cohort study; DNA
Survivors of pediatric medulloblastoma are at risk for neurocognitive dysfunction. Reduced white matter integrity has been correlated with lower intelligence in child survivors, yet associations between specific cognitive processes and white matter have not been examined in long-term adult survivors. Twenty adult survivors of medulloblastoma were randomly recruited from a larger institutional cohort of adult survivors of childhood cancer. Survivors underwent comprehensive neurocognitive evaluations and MRI. Data on brain volume and cortical thickness and diffusion tensor imaging were acquired, including measures of fractional anisotropy, apparent diffusion coefficient, and axial and radial diffusivity. Observed neurocognitive scores were compared with population norms and correlated to MRI indices. Survivors were, on average, 29 years of age and 18 years postdiagnosis. Mean full-scale intelligence quotient was nearly 1 SD below the normative mean (86.3 vs 100, P = .004). Seventy-five percent of survivors were impaired on at least one measure of executive function. Radial diffusivity in the frontal lobe of both hemispheres was correlated with shifting attention (left: rs = −0.67, P = .001; right: rs = −0.64, P = .002) and cognitive flexibility (left: rs = −0.56, P = .01; right: rs = −0.54, P = .01). Volume and cortical thickness were not correlated with neurocognitive function. Neurocognitive impairment was common and involved many domains. Reduced white matter integrity in multiple brain regions correlated with poorer performance on tasks of executive function. Future research integrating diffusion tensor imaging should be a priority to more rigorously evaluate long-term consequences of cancer treatment and to inform cognitive intervention trials in this high-risk population.
diffusion tensor imaging; executive function; medulloblastoma; neurocognition
Describe frequencies and risk factors of altered oral health and odontogenesis in childhood cancer survivors.
Patients and Methods
9308 survivors, diagnosed between 1970–1986, and 2951 siblings from Childhood Cancer Survivor Study completed a survey containing oral-dental health information. We analyzed treatment impact, socioeconomic data and patient demographics on dental outcomes using univariate and multivariate logistic regression models to estimate odds ratios (OR).
In multivariate analysis, survivors more likely reported microdontia (OR 3.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.4–3.8), hypodontia (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.4–2.0), root abnormalities (OR 3.0, 95% CI 2.2–4.0), abnormal enamel (OR 2.4, 95% CI 2.0–2.9), teeth loss ≥6 (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.9–3.6), severe gingivitis (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.0–1.5), xerostomia (OR 9.7, 95% CI 4.8–19.7). Controlling for chemotherapy and socio-economic factors, radiation exposure of ≥20Gy to dentition was significantly associated with increased risk of ≥1 dental abnormality. Dose-dependent alkylating agent therapy significantly increased risk ≥1 anatomic/developmental dental abnormalities in survivors diagnosed <5 years of age (OR 1.7, 2.7, 3.3 for alkylating agent score of 1, 2, 3, respectively).
Radiation and chemotherapy are independent risk factors for adverse oral-dental sequelae among childhood cancer survivors. Patients receiving alkylating agents at < 5 years should be closely monitored.
radiation; chemotherapy; pediatric oncology; dental abnormalities
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) survivors face substantially elevated risks of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. They and their physicians are often unaware of these risks and surveillance recommendations.
A prospective one-arm study was conducted among a random sample of 72 HL survivors, ages 27 to 55, participating in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) who were at increased risk for breast cancer and/or cardiomyopathy and had not had a screening mammogram or echocardiogram, respectively, within the prior two years. A one-page survivorship care plan with recommendations for surveillance was mailed to participants. In addition, survivors’ primary physicians were contacted and provided patient-specific information and a web-based Virtual Information Center was made available for both survivors and physicians. Outcomes were assessed by telephone six months after the intervention.
The survivor participation (62/72; 86%) and six-month retention (56/61; 92%) rates were high. Tension and anxiety, measured by the Profile of Mood States, did not increase following risk notification; 91% of survivors described their reactions to receiving the information in positive terms. At six months, 41% of survivors reported having completed the recommended mammogram; 20% reported having an echocardiogram (females 30%, males 10%). Only 29% of survivors visited the website. Nine physicians enrolled, and none used the study resources.
A mailed, personalized survivorship care plan was effective in communicating risk and increasing compliance with recommended medical surveillance. Internet- and telephone-based strategies to communicate risk were not utilized by survivors or physicians.
cancer survivor; late effects; survivorship care plan
To compare two-dimensional (2D) echocardiography, the current method of screening for treatment-related cardiomyopathy recommended by the Children's Oncology Group Guidelines, to cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging, the reference standard for left ventricular (LV) function.
Patients and Methods
Cross-sectional, contemporaneous evaluation of LV structure and function by 2D and three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography and CMR imaging in 114 adult survivors of childhood cancer currently median age 39 years (range, 22 to 53 years) exposed to anthracycline chemotherapy and/or chest-directed radiation therapy.
In this survivor population, 14% (n = 16) had an ejection fraction (EF) less than 50% by CMR. Survivors previously undiagnosed with cardiotoxicity (n = 108) had a high prevalence of EF (32%) and cardiac mass (48%) that were more than two standard deviations below the mean of normative CMR data. 2D echocardiography overestimated the mean EF of this population by 5%. Compared with CMR, 2D echocardiography (biplane method) had a sensitivity of 25% and a false-negative rate of 75% for detection of EF less than 50%, although 3D echocardiography had 53% and 47%, respectively. Twelve survivors (11%) had an EF less than 50% by CMR but were misclassified as ≥ 50% (range, 50% to 68%) by 2D echocardiography (biplane method). Detection of cardiomyopathy was improved (sensitivity, 75%) by using a higher 2D echocardiography cutoff (EF < 60%) to detect an EF less than 50% by the reference standard CMR.
CMR identified a high prevalence of cardiomyopathy among adult survivors previously undiagnosed with cardiac disease. 2D echocardiography demonstrated limited screening performance. In this high-risk population, survivors with an EF 50% to 59% by 2D echocardiography should be considered for comprehensive cardiac assessment, which may include CMR.
Psychological or neurocognitive impairment is often seen in medulloblastoma survivors after craniospinal radiation; however, significant variability in outcomes exists. This study investigated the role of antioxidant enzyme polymorphisms in moderating this outcome and hypothesized that patients who had polymorphisms associated with lower antioxidant enzyme function would have a higher occurrence of impairment. From the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) cohort, 109 medulloblastoma survivors and 143 siblings were identified who completed the CCSS Neurocognitive Questionnaire (NCQ) and the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18) and who provided buccal DNA samples. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) allelic discrimination was used for SOD2 (rs4880), GPX1 (rs1050450), and GSTP1 (rs1695 and rs1138272) genotyping and PCR for GSTM1 and GSTT1 gene deletions. Outcomes on NCQ and BSI-18 subscale scores were examined in association with genotypes and clinical factors, including age at diagnosis, sex, and radiation dose, using univariate and multivariate analysis of variance. Patients <7 years of age at diagnosis displayed more problems with task efficiency (P < .001) and fewer problems with somatic complaints (P = .004) than did patients ≥7 years of age. Female patients reported more organization problems than did male patients (P = .02). Patients with homozygous GSTM1 gene deletion reported higher anxiety (mean null genotype = 47.3 ± 9.2, non-null = 43.9 ± 7.8; P = .04), more depression (null = 51.0 ± 9.8, non-null = 47.0 ± 9.4; P = .03), and more global distress (null = 50.2 ± 9.7, non-null = 45.2 ± 9.9; P = .01). All associations for the GSTM1 polymorphism remained statistically significant in a multivariate model controlling for age, sex, and radiation dose. Homozygous GSTM1 gene deletion was consistently associated with greater psychological distress in medulloblastoma survivors across multiple domains, suggesting that this genotype may predispose patients for increased emotional late effects.
Childhood Cancer Survivor Study; glutathione S-transferase polymorphisms; medulloblastoma; neuropsychological impairment; radiation therapy
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common malignancy in the United States. Ionizing radiation is an established risk factor in certain populations, including cancer survivors. We quantified the association between ionizing radiation dose and the risk of BCC in childhood cancer survivors.
Participants in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study who reported a BCC (case subjects, n = 199) were matched on age and length of follow-up to three study participants who had not developed a BCC (control subjects, n = 597). The radiation-absorbed dose (in Gy) to the BCC location was calculated based on individual radiotherapy records using a custom-designed dosimetry program. Conditional logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations between demographic and treatment factors, therapeutic radiation dose, and surrogate markers of sun sensitivity (skin and hair color) and the risk of BCC. A linear dose–response model was fitted to evaluate the excess odds ratio per Gy of radiation dose.
Among case subjects, 83% developed BCC between the ages of 20 and 39 years. Radiation therapy, either alone or in combination with chemotherapy, was associated with an increased risk of BCC compared with no chemotherapy or radiation. The odds ratio for subjects who received 35 Gy or more to the skin site vs no radiation therapy was 39.8 (95% CI = 8.6 to 185). Results were consistent with a linear dose–response relationship, with an excess odds ratio per Gy of 1.09 (95% CI = 0.49 to 2.64). No other treatment variables were statistically significantly associated with an increased risk of BCC.
Radiation doses to the skin of more than 1 Gy are associated with an increased risk of BCC.
Chronic health conditions are common among long-term childhood cancer survivors, but hospitalization rates have not been reported. The objective of this study was to determine overall and cause-specific hospitalization rates among survivors of childhood cancer and compare rates to the U.S. population.
The Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) is a retrospective cohort of 5+ year survivors of childhood malignancies treated at 26 participating centers. Self-reported hospitalizations from 10,366 survivors (diagnosed 1970–1986) were compared to U.S. population rates using age-and sex-stratified standardized incidence ratios (SIRs). Reasons for hospitalization were evaluated and associations between demographic, cancer and treatment-related risk factors with hospitalization were investigated.
Survivors were, on average, 20.9 years from cancer diagnosis (SD: 4.6, range: 13–32) and 28.6 years of age (SD: 7.7, range: 13–51). Survivor hospitalization rates were 1.6 times the U.S. population (95% CI: 1.6; 1.7). Increased hospitalization rates were noted irrespective of gender, age at follow-up and cancer diagnosis, with highest SIRs noted among male (SIR=2.6, 95% CI: 2.2; 3.0) and female (SIR=2.7, 95% CI: 2.4; 3.1) survivors aged 45–54. Female gender, an existing chronic health condition and/or a second neoplasm, and prior treatment with radiation were associated with an increased risk of non-obstetrical hospitalization.
Survivors of childhood cancer demonstrate substantially higher hospitalization rates. Additional research is needed to further quantify the healthcare utilization and economic impact of treatment-related complications as this population ages.
childhood cancer; cancer survivor; hospitalization
Childhood cancer survivors are at increased risk for adverse outcomes and chronic medical conditions. Treatment-related scarring, disfigurement, and persistent hair loss, in addition to their long-term impact on psychological distress or health-related quality of life (HRQOL), have received little attention.
Patients and Methods
Self-reported scarring/disfigurement and persistent hair loss were examined in 14,358 survivors and 4,023 siblings from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Multivariable models were used to examine associations with demographic and cancer treatment. The impact of disfigurement and hair loss on HRQOL (ie, Medical Outcomes Short Form–36) and emotional distress (ie, Brief Symptom Inventory–18) was examined.
Survivors reported a significantly higher rate of scarring/disfigurement compared with siblings for head/neck (25.1% v 8.4%), arms/legs (18.2% v 10.2%), and chest/abdomen (38.1% v 9.1%), as well as hair loss (14.0% v 6.3%). In age-, sex-, and race-adjusted models, cranial radiation exposure ≥ 36 Gy increased risk for head/neck disfigurement (relative risk [RR], 2.42; 95% CI, 2.22 to 2.65) and hair loss (RR, 4.24; 95% CI, 3.63 to 4.95). Adjusting for cranial radiation, age, sex, race, education, and marital status, survivor hair loss increased risk of anxiety (RR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.23 to 2.07), whereas head/neck disfigurement increased risk of depression (RR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.41). Limitations due to emotional symptoms were associated with head/neck disfigurement (RR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.41), arm/leg disfigurement (RR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.35), and hair loss (RR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.09 to 1.47).
Survivors of childhood cancer are at increased risk for disfigurement and persistent hair loss, which is associated with future emotional distress and reduced quality of life. Future studies are needed to better identify and manage functional outcomes in these patients.
Objective To report the prevalence and comparison of cancer-linked health behaviors and identify risk factors associated with unhealthy behavior among adolescent siblings and cancer survivors. Methods The Child Health and Illness Profile—Adolescent Edition (CHIP—AE) was completed by 307 survivors and 97 sibling controls 14–20 years of age. Results Risky behavior ranged from 0.7% to 35.8% for survivors and 1.0% to 41.2% for siblings. Comparisons of sexual behavior, tobacco, alcohol, or illicit drug use utilizing continuous data revealed no differences between groups. Categorically, survivors were less likely to report past smokeless tobacco use or current use of beer/wine or binge drinking (p-values range from .01 to .04). Survivors with better mental health were at lower risk for poor behavioral outcomes. Conclusions Adolescent survivors engage in risky health behaviors at rates generally equivalent to their siblings. Aggressive health education efforts should be directed toward this high-risk population.
adolescents; childhood cancer; risky health behavior; survivors
To compare the skin and breast/cervical cancer prevention/screening practices of adult siblings of childhood cancer survivors with controls and to identify modifying factors for these practices.
Cross-sectional, self-report data from 2,588 adult siblings of 5+ year survivors of childhood cancer were analyzed to assess cancer prevention/screening practices. Two age, sex and race/ethnicity-matched samples (n=5,915 and n=37,789) of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System participants served as the comparison populations. Sociodemographic and cancer-related data were explored as modifying factors for sibling cancer prevention/screening practices through multivariable logistic regression.
Compared to controls, siblings were more likely to practice skin cancer prevention behaviors: use of protective clothing (OR 2.85, 95% 2.39-3.39), use of shade (OR 2. 11, 95% 1.88-2.36), use of sunscreen (OR 1.27, 95% 1.14-1.40), and wearing a hat (OR 1.77, 95% 1.58-1.98). No differences were noted for breast/cervical cancer screening including mammography and Pap testing. Having less than a high school education and lack of health insurance were associated with diminished cancer prevention/screening behaviors. Survivor diagnosis, treatment intensity, adverse health, chronic health conditions, and second cancers were not associated with sibling cancer prevention/screening behaviors.
Siblings of cancer survivors report greater skin cancer prevention practices when compared with controls; however, no differences were noted for breast/cervical cancer screening practices. Access to care and lack of education may be associated with decreased cancer prevention/screening behaviors. Interventions are needed to address these barriers.
Research should be directed at understanding the impact of the cancer experience on sibling health behaviors.
Siblings; survivor; childhood cancer; prevention; screening
To determine whether unique groups of adult childhood cancer survivors could be defined on the basis of modifiable cognitive, affective and motivation indicators. Secondary objectives were to examine to what extent group membership covaried with more static variables (e.g., demographics, disease, and treatment) and predicted intent for subsequent medical follow-up.
Using latent class analysis of data from 978 participants (ages 18–52 years; mean, 31; SD, 8) in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, we classified survivors according to their worries about health, perceived need for follow-up care, health motivation, and background variables. Intent to participate in medical follow-up, as a function of class membership, was tested using equality of proportions.
The best-fitting model (BIC=18,540.67, BLMRT=<0.001) was characterized by three distinctive survivor classes (worried, 19%; self-controlling, 26%; collaborative, 55%) and three significant class covariates (gender, perceptions of health and severity of late effects). A smaller proportion of survivors in the self-controlling group [81%] than in the worried [90%] (P=0.015) and collaborative [88%] (P=0.015) groups intended to obtain a routine medical checkup. A smaller proportion of survivors in the self-controlling group [32%] than in the collaborative [65%] (P=<0.001) and worried [86%] (P=<0.001) groups planned a cancer-related check-up. A smaller proportion of survivors in the collaborative group [65%] than in the worried group [86%] (P=<0.001) were likely to obtain a cancer-related check-up.
Childhood cancer survivors can be classified according to modifiable indicators. The classification is distinctive, predicts intent for future medical follow-up, and can inform tailored interventions.
childhood cancer; survivorship; late effects; medical follow-up; pediatric oncology
In a case–control study of infant leukaemia, we assessed agreement between medical records and mother’s self-reported pregnancy-related conditions and procedures and infant treatments. Interview and medical record data were available for 234 case and 215 control mothers. Sensitivity, specificity and predictive values for maternal report were estimated for case and control mothers separately, taking the medical record as correct. For most perinatal conditions, sensitivity and specificity were over 75%. Low sensitivity was observed for maternal protein or albumin in the urine (cases: 12% [95% exact confidence interval (CI) 8%, 18%]; controls: 11% [95% CI 7%, 17%]) and infant supplemental oxygen use (cases: 25% [95% CI 11%, 43%]; controls: 24% [95% CI 13%, 37%]). Low specificity was found for peripheral oedema (cases: 47% [95% CI 37%, 58%]; controls: 54% [95% CI 43%, 64%]). Sensitivity for maternal hypertension appeared much lower for cases (cases: 46% [95% CI 28%, 66%]; controls: 90% [95% CI 70%, 99%]; P = 0.003). We did not detect other case–control differences in recall (differentiality), even though the average time between childbirth and interview was 2.7 years for case and 3.7 years for control mothers. Many conditions exhibited notable differences between interview and records. We recommend use of multiple measurement sources to allow both cross-checking and synthesis of results into more accurate measures.
medical records; maternal recall; reproducibility; misclassification; recall bias
Several case–control studies have evaluated associations between maternal smoking, alcohol consumption and illicit drug use during pregnancy and risk of childhood leukaemia. Few studies have specifically focused on infants (<1 year) with leukaemia, a group that is biologically and clinically distinct from older children. We present data from a Children’s Oncology Group case–control study of 443 infants diagnosed with acute leukaemia [including acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML)] between 1996 and 2006 and 324 population controls. Mothers were queried about their cigarette, alcohol and illicit drug use 1 year before and throughout pregnancy. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals [CI] were calculated using adjusted unconditional logistic regression models. Maternal smoking (>1 cigarette/day) and illicit drug use (any amount) before and/or during pregnancy were not significantly associated with infant leukaemia. Alcohol use (>1 drink/week) during pregnancy was inversely associated with infant leukaemia overall [OR = 0.64; 95% CI 0.43, 0.94], AML [OR = 0.49; 95% CI 0.28, 0.87], and leukaemia with mixed lineage leukaemia gene rearrangements (‘MLL+’) [OR = 0.59; 95% CI 0.36, 0.97]. While our results agree with the fairly consistent evidence that maternal cigarette smoking is not associated with childhood leukaemia, the data regarding alcohol and illicit drug use are not consistent with prior reports and are difficult to interpret. It is possible that unhealthy maternal behaviours during pregnancy, some of which carry potential legal consequences, may not be adequately measured using only self-report. Future case–control studies of childhood leukaemia that pursue these exposures may benefit from incorporation of validated instruments and/or biomarkers when feasible.
childhood cancer; infant leukaemia; maternal smoking; maternal alcohol; illicit drug use
Few studies have examined risk factors for smoking among adolescent survivors of childhood cancer. The present study reports on the rate of smoking and identifies factors associated with smoking in a sample of adolescent survivors from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS).
Participants included 307 adolescent survivors and 97 healthy siblings (ages 14-20) who completed a self-report survey of health, quality of life, and health behaviors.
Smoking rates did not differ significantly between survivor and sibling groups (Ever Smokers: 28% vs. 33%, Recent Smokers: 10% vs. 9%, respectively). Ever smoking was significantly associated with peer smoking, smokers in the household, binging, suicidal behavior, and no history of CRT. There were significant interactions of peer smoking with gender and CRT for ever smoking and with binging for recent smoking. Recent smoking was more likely for survivors with other household smokers (RR=2.24, CI=1.21-4.16), past suicidality (RR=1.89, CI=1.00-3.56), and no CRT (RR=2.40, CI=1.12-5.17). Among survivors with few smoking friends, ever smoking was more likely for survivors with no CRT (RR=4.47, CI=1.43-13.9), and recent smoking was more likely among survivors who binged (RR=3.37, CI=1.17-9.71).
Despite the health risks associated with survivorship, nearly one in three adolescent survivors of childhood cancer has smoked. Exposure to other smokers, in particular, appears to increase the likelihood of smoking for some survivors. Providing smoking cessation programs targeted to family members, helping survivors choose nonsmoking friends, and teaching ways to resist smoking influences from peers may be important pathways for smoking prevention with adolescent survivors.
adolescents; childhood cancer; survivors; smoking