The impact of childhood cranial radiation therapy (CRT) on stroke risk in adulthood, and the role of modifiable atherosclerotic risk factors, remains poorly defined. We assessed long-term incidence rates and stroke risk factors in survivors of childhood cancer followed by the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS).
Patients and Methods
CCSS is a multi-institutional retrospective cohort study of 14,358 five-year survivors of childhood cancer and 4,023 randomly selected sibling controls with longitudinal follow up. Age-adjusted incidence rates of self-reported late-occurring (≥ 5 years after diagnosis) first-stroke were calculated. Multivariable Cox Proportional Hazards models were used to identify independent stroke predictors.
During a mean follow-up of 23.3 years, 292 survivors reported a late-occurring stroke. The age-adjusted stroke rate per 100,000 person-years was 77 (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 62–96) compared to 9.3 (95% CI 4–23) for siblings. Treatment with CRT increased stroke risk in a dose dependent manner: hazard ratio (HR) 5.9 (95% CI 3.5–9.9) for 30–49 Gy CRT, and 11.0 (7.4–17.0) for 50+ Gy CRT. The cumulative stroke incidence in survivors treated with 50+ Gy CRT was 1.1% (95% CI 0.4–1.8) at 10 years post-diagnosis and 12% (95% CI 8.9–15.0) at 30 years. Hypertension (HTN) increased stroke hazard by 4-fold (95% CI 2.8–5.5) and in black survivors by 16-fold (95% CI 6.9–36.6).
Young adult pediatric cancer survivors have an increased stroke risk that is associated with CRT in a dose dependent manner. Atherosclerotic risk factors enhanced this risk and should be treated aggressively.
Background: Although in vitro and in vivo experiments have suggested that mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) may have important immunomodulatory functions in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), results from clinical studies have been inconsistent. In the current study we investigate the safety of dog leukocyte antigen (DLA) identical or third party unrelated MSC in DLA-identical HCT.
Results: There were no differences between treatment groups in depth of granulocyte or platelet nadirs, time to granulocyte or platelet engraftment, rate of acute GVHD or rejection. All dogs tolerated the MSC infusion well, although 2 dogs treated with unrelated MSC were euthanized on day 9 due to complications unrelated to the MSC infusion. While no formation of ectopic tissue was observed, GFP positive signals in bone marrow, spleen or liver were detected at time of necropsy in 75% and 50% of dogs treated with DLA-identical or unrelated MSC, respectively.
Discussion: Treatment with DLA-identical or unrelated MSC in high dose DLA-identical HCT is safe, and provides a large animal HCT model in which to investigate immunological mechanisms and optimal treatment strategies for future human trials.
Methods: Fourteen dogs were treated with 920 cGy total body irradiation (TBI) followed by transplantation of marrow from DLA-identical littermates and immunosuppression with cyclosporine. Prior to infusion of marrow, dogs received infusions of DLA-identical MSC from the marrow donor (n = 4), unrelated MSC (n = 4), or culture medium (n = 6), within 1 h of TBI. MSC obtained from relevant donors were ex-vivo expanded and transduced with GFP-retrovirus before infusion.
allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation; canine transplantation model; mesenchymal stem cells; third party; green fluorescent protein transduced
To evaluate health status and participation restrictions in childhood
extremity sarcoma survivors.
Members of the CCSS cohort with extremity sarcomas, who completed
1995, 2003 or 2007 questionnaires, were included.
Cohort Study of extremity sarcomas survivors.
Childhood cancer survivors diagnosed and treated between
Main Outcome Measure
Prevalence rates for poor health status in six domains and five
sub-optimal social participation categories were compared by tumor location
and treatment exposure with generalized estimating equations adjusted for
demographic/personal factors and time/age.
Among 1094 survivors, median age at diagnosis 13 years (range
0–20), current age 33 years (range 10–53), 49% were
male, 87.5% Caucasian, and 75% had lower extremity tumors.
In adjusted models, when compared to upper extremity survivors, lower
extremity survivors had increased risk of activity limitations but lower
risk of not completing college. Compared to those who did not have surgery,
those with limb-sparing (LS) and upper extremity amputations (UEA) were 1.6
times more likely to report functional impairment; while those with an above
the knee amputation (AKA) were 1.9 times more likely to report functional
impairment. Survivors treated with LS were 1.5 times more likely to report
activity limitations. Survivors undergoing LS were more likely to report
inactivity, incomes < $20,000, unemployment and no college
degree. Those with UEA more likely reported inactivity, unmarried status and
no college degree. Lastly, those with AKA more likely reported no college
degree. Treatment with abdominal irradiation was associated with increased
risk of poor mental health, functional impairment and activity
Treatment for lower extremity sarcomas is associated with a
50% increased risk for activity limitations; upper extremity
survivors are at 10% higher risk for not completing college. Type of
local control influences health status and participation restrictions. Both
these outcomes decline with age.
upper extremity; lower extremity; sarcoma; survivors; childhood cancer
Event history studies occur in many fields including economics, medical studies and social science. In such studies concerning some recurrent events, two types of data have been extensively discussed in the literature. One is recurrent event data that arise if study subjects are monitored or observed continuously. In this case, the observed information provides the times of all occurrences of the recurrent events of interest. The other is panel count data, which occur if the subjects are monitored or observed only periodically. This can happen if the continuous observation is too expensive or not practical and in this case, only the numbers of occurrences of the events between subsequent observation times are available. In this paper, we discuss a third type of data, which is a mixture of recurrent event and panel count data and for which there exists little literature. For regression analysis of such data, a marginal mean model is presented and we propose an estimating equation-based approach for estimation of regression parameters. A simulation study is conducted to assess the finite sample performance of the proposed methodology and indicates that it works well for practical situations. Finally it is applied to a motivating study on childhood cancer survivors.
Childhood cancer survivor study; Estimating equation-based approach; Regression analysis
To describe alcohol consumption patterns and risk factors for heavy alcohol use among siblings of childhood cancer survivors compared to survivors and national controls.
Secondary analysis of prospectively collected data from two national surveys was performed including a cohort of 3,034 adult siblings of childhood cancer survivors (age 18-56 years) and 10,398 adult childhood cancer survivors both from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, plus 5,712 adult participants from the population-based National Alcohol Survey. Cancer-related experiences, self-reported current health and mental health were examined in relation to alcohol consumption patterns including heavy and risky drinking.
Adult siblings of childhood cancer survivors were more likely to be heavy drinkers (ORadj=1.3; 1.0-1.6) and risky drinkers (ORadj=1.3; 1.1-1.6) compared to controls from a national sample. Siblings were also more likely to drink at these two levels compared to survivors. Factors associated with heavy drinking among siblings include being 18-21 years old (ORadj=2.9; 2.0-4.4), male (ORadj=2.3; 1.7-3.0), having a high school education or less (ORadj=2.4; 1.7-3.5), and drinking initiation at a young age (ORadj=5.1; 2.5-10.3). Symptoms of depression, (ORadj=2.1; 1.3-3.2), anxiety (ORadj=1.9; 1.1-3.3) and global psychiatric distress (ORadj=2.5; 1.5-4.3) were significantly associated with heavy alcohol use.
Siblings of children with cancer are more likely to be heavy drinkers as adults compared to childhood cancer survivors or national controls. Early initiation of drinking and symptoms of psychological distress should be identified during early adolescence and effective sibling-specific interventions should be developed and made available for siblings of children with cancer.
alcohol; childhood cancer; heavy drinking; risky drinking; siblings; cancer; alcohol/drug use; mental health; psychological impact
Adult survivors of childhood cancer are known to be at increased risk of subsequent malignancy, but only limited data exist describing the incidence and risk factors for secondary renal carcinoma. Among 14 358 5-year survivors diagnosed between 1970 and 1986, we estimated standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) for subsequent renal carcinoma and identified associations with primary cancer therapy using Poisson regression. Twenty-six survivors were diagnosed with renal carcinoma (median = 22.6 years from diagnosis; range = 6.3–35.7 years), reflecting a statistically significant excess (SIR = 8.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 5.2 to 11.7) compared with the general population. Highest risk was observed among neuroblastoma survivors (SIR = 85.8, 95% CI = 38.4 to 175.2) and, in multivariable analyses, with renal-directed radiotherapy of 5 Gy or greater (relative risk [RR] = 3.8, 95% CI = 1.6 to 9.3) and platinum-based chemotherapy (RR = 3.5, 95% CI = 1.0 to 11.2). To our knowledge, this is the first report of an association between cisplatin and subsequent renal carcinoma among survivors of childhood cancer.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is an important complication after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), and RSV lower respiratory tract disease (LRD) results in substantial early mortality and late airflow obstruction among survivors. Factors associated with poor outcome are unknown. We evaluated the effect of transplant and treatment factors on overall survival, mortality from respiratory failure, and pulmonary function among 82 HCT recipients who had RSV LRD between 1990 and 2011. All patients received aerosolized ribavirin. In multivariable analyses, only the use of marrow or cord blood as graft source (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 4.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.8-9.0, P < 0.001) and oxygen requirement (aHR 3.3, 95% CI 1.5-6.7, P=0.003) remained independently associated with overall mortality and death due to respiratory failure (aHR 4.7, 95% CI 1.8-13, P=0.002 and aHR 5.4, 95% CI 1.8-16, P=0.002, respectively). Antibody-based treatments, including intravenous immunoglobulin and palivizumab, were not independently associated with improved outcome and did not alter the associations of the graft source and oxygen requirements in statistical models. In conclusion, use of peripheral blood stem cells as graft source and lack of oxygen requirement at diagnosis appear to be important factors associated with improved survival of HCT recipients with RSV LRD. These results may explain differences in outcomes reported from RSV infection over time, and may guide the design of future interventional trials.
Respiratory syncytial virus; Lower respiratory tract disease; Palivizumab; Pulmonary function; Hematopoietic cell transplantation
Examine the construct validity, stability, internal consistency, and item-response performance of a self- report health needs assessment for adult survivors of childhood cancer.
A 190-item mailed survey was completed by 1,178 randomly-selected (stratified on age, diagnosis, time since diagnosis) Childhood Cancer Survivor Study participants (mean age: 39.66 [SD: 7.71] years; time since diagnosis: 31.60 [SD: 4.71] years). Minorities and rural residents were oversampled at a 2:1 ratio.
The final instrument included 135 items comprising 9 unidimensional subscales (Psycho-Emotional, Health System Concerns, Cancer-related Health Information, General Health, Survivor Care and Support, Surveillance, Coping, Fiscal Concerns, and Relationships). Confirmatory factor analysis (n=1,178; RMSEA = 0.020; 90% CI = 0.019 –0.020; CFI = 0.956; TLI = 0.955) and person-item fit variable maps established construct validity. Across subscales, Cronbach’s alpha was 0.94–0.97 and the 4-week test-retest correlations were 0.52–0.91. In a Rasch analysis, item reliability was 0.97–0.99, person reliability was 0.80–0.90, and separation index scores were 2.00–3.01. Significant subscale covariates of higher need levels included demographics, diagnosis, and treatment exposures.
The Childhood Cancer Survivor Study Needs Assessment Questionnaire (CCSS-NAQ) is reliable and construct-valid, has strong item-response properties, and discriminates need levels.
Implications for Cancer Survivors
The CCSS-NAQ potentially can be used to: 1) directly assess adult childhood cancer survivors’ self-reported health-related needs, 2) identify individuals or subgroups with higher-level needs, 3) inform prevention and direct intervention strategies, and 4) facilitate prioritization of health-care resource allocation.
survivors; pediatric cancer; health-related needs; psychometrics; Rasch model
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
We developed three absolute risk models for second primary thyroid cancer to assist with long-term clinical monitoring of childhood cancer survivors.
Patients and Methods
We used data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) and two nested case-control studies (Nordic CCSS; Late Effects Study Group). Model M1 included self-reported risk factors, model M2 added basic radiation and chemotherapy treatment information abstracted from medical records, and model M3 refined M2 by incorporating reconstructed radiation absorbed dose to the thyroid. All models were validated in an independent cohort of French childhood cancer survivors.
M1 included birth year, initial cancer type, age at diagnosis, sex, and past thyroid nodule diagnosis. M2 added radiation (yes/no), radiation to the neck (yes/no), and alkylating agent (yes/no). Past thyroid nodule was consistently the strongest risk factor (M1 relative risk [RR], 10.8; M2 RR, 6.8; M3 RR, 8.2). In the validation cohort, 20-year absolute risk predictions for second primary thyroid cancer ranged from 0.04% to 7.4% for M2. Expected events agreed well with observed events for each model, indicating good calibration. All models had good discriminatory ability (M1 area under the receiver operating characteristics curve [AUC], 0.71; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.77; M2 AUC, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.73 to 0.86; M3 AUC, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.69 to 0.82).
We developed and validated three absolute risk models for second primary thyroid cancer. Model M2, with basic prior treatment information, could be useful for monitoring thyroid cancer risk in childhood cancer survivors.
Influenza RNA in blood (viremia) was detected in 9 of 79 (11.4%) hematopoietic cell transplant recipients with influenza, and was less frequently observed in patients with upper respiratory tract disease only and more frequently in patients infected with 2009 pandemic influenza A/H1N1 strain (versus seasonal strains). Viremia increased the risk of progression to lower respiratory tract disease (LRD), hypoxemia, respiratory failure, and overall and influenza-related death. Among patients with LRD, viremia was associated with increased hazards of overall and influenza-associated death (hazard ratio 3.5, 1.1–12). Thus, influenza viremia may serve as marker for overall poor outcome.
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.
Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) reactivation has been associated with acute graft-versus-host-disease (aGVHD), cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation, and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), but previous studies have yielded inconsistent results. We performed a large prospective study of allogeneic HCT recipients in order to more definitively define the relationships between HHV-6 and these important outcomes.
Plasma specimens were collected prospectively from 315 allogeneic HCT recipients and tested for HHV-6 DNA at baseline and twice-weekly for 12 weeks. Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate the time-dependent associations between HHV-6 reactivation and the targeted outcomes.
HHV-6 was detected in 111 (35%) of 315 patients at a median of 20 days after HCT. HHV-6 reactivation was associated with subsequent CMV reactivation [adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) 1.9, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-2.8, p=0.002]. High-level HHV-6 (>1,000 HHV-6 DNA copies/mL) was associated with subsequent grades II-IV aGVHD (aHR 2.4, 95% CI 1.60-3.6), p<0.001). High-level HHV-6 reactivation was also associated with non-relapse mortality (aHR 2.7, 95% CI 1.2-6.3, p=0.02).
HHV-6 reactivation was independently and quantitatively associated with increased risk of subsequent CMV reactivation, aGVHD, and mortality after HCT. A randomized antiviral trial is warranted to establish causality between HHV-6 and these endpoints and to determine if reducing HHV-6 reactivation will improve outcome after HCT.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) surveillance and preemptive therapy is the most commonly used strategy for CMV disease prevention in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients. In 2007, we introduced a CMV prevention strategy for those patients at risk for CMV disease using quantitative PCR surveillance, with treatment thresholds determined by patient risk factors. Patients (N=367) received preemptive therapy either at a plasma viral load of ≥500 copies/ml, at ≥100 copies/ml if receiving ≥ 1 mg/kg of prednisone or anti-T cell therapies, or if a ≥ 5-fold viral load increase from baseline was detected. Compared to patients prior to 2007 undergoing antigenemia-based surveillance (n=690) with preemptive therapy initiated for any positive level, the risk-adapted PCR based strategy resulted in similar use of antiviral agents, and similar risks of CMV disease, toxicity and non-relapse mortality (NRM) in multivariable models. The cumulative incidence of CMV disease by day 100 was 5.2% in the PCR group compared to 5.8% in the antigenemia group (1 year: 9.1% PCR vs 9.6% antigenemia). Breakthrough CMV disease in the PCR group was predominantly in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (15/19 cases, 79%). However, unlike CMV pneumonia, CMV GI disease was not associated with increased NRM (adjusted hazard ratio 1.19, P=0.7 [GI disease] vs. 8.18, P<0.001 [pneumonia]). Thus, the transition to a preemptive therapy strategy based on CMV viral load and host risk factors successfully prevented CMV disease without increasing the proportion of patients receiving preemptive therapy and attributable toxicity. Breakthrough disease in PCR-based preemptive therapy occurs at a low incidence and presents primarily as GI disease which is more likely to be responsive to antiviral therapy.
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
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.
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
In a previous study comparing fluconazole and itraconazole administered as antifungal prophylaxis in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients, we found that fluconazole administration concurrent with cyclophosphamide (CY)-based conditioning was associated with fewer early toxicities compared to itraconazole. Fluconazole inhibits cytochrome P450 2C9, which is involved with the activation of CY, and so might provide protection from CY-related toxicities.
To investigate this further, we compared CY and CY-metabolite data from patients who received fluconazole (n=56) concurrent with CY-containing conditioning in patients who did not (n=17). The fluconazole group had greater exposure to CY, and lower peak serum concentration of CY-metabolite 4-hydroxycyclophosphamide. In a separate cohort, we examined outcomes in patients randomized to receive either fluconazole (n=152) or placebo (n=147) concurrent with CY-containing conditioning in a prior randomized trial. Patients who received fluconazole experienced less hepatic and renal toxicity, and had lower mortality. No difference in relapsed malignancy was apparent. These data support the hypothesis that fluconazole, when co-administered with CY, decreases CY-related toxicities by inhibiting cytochrome P450 2C9 metabolism.
Systemic exposure to mercaptopurine (MP) is critical for durable remissions in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Nonadherence to oral MP could increase relapse risk and also contribute to inferior outcome in Hispanics. This study identified determinants of adherence and described impact of adherence on relapse, both overall and by ethnicity.
Patients and Methods
A total of 327 children with ALL (169 Hispanic; 158 non-Hispanic white) participated. Medication event-monitoring system caps recorded date and time of MP bottle openings. Adherence rate, calculated monthly, was defined as ratio of days of MP bottle opening to days when MP was prescribed.
After 53,394 person-days of monitoring, adherence declined from 94.7% (month 1) to 90.2% (month 6; P < .001). Mean adherence over 6 months was significantly lower among Hispanics (88.4% v 94.8%; P < .001), patients age ≥ 12 years (85.8% v 93.1%; P < .001), and patients from single-mother households (80.6% v 93.1%; P = .001). A progressive increase in relapse was observed with decreasing adherence (reference: adherence ≥ 95%; 94.9% to 90%: hazard ratio [HR], 4.1; 95% CI,1.2 to 13.5; P = .02; 89.9% to 85%: HR, 4.0; 95% CI, 1.0 to 15.5; P = .04; < 85%: HR. 5.7; 95% CI, 1.9 to 16.8; P = .002). Cumulative incidence of relapse (± standard deviation) was higher among Hispanics (16.5% ± 4.0% v 6.3% ± 2.2%; P = .02). Association between Hispanic ethnicity and relapse (HR, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.1 to 6.1; P = .02) became nonsignificant (HR, 1.8; 95% CI, 0.6 to 5.2; P = .26) after adjusting for adherence and socioeconomic status. At adherence rates ≥ 90%, Hispanics continued to demonstrate higher relapse, whereas at rates < 90%, relapse risk was comparable to that of non-Hispanic whites.
Lower adherence to oral MP increases relapse risk. Ethnic difference in relapse risk differs by level of adherence—an observation currently under investigation.
The impact of cytokines induced during influenza infection has been described, but the effect of corticosteroids on clinical outcomes is unclear. Although antiviral therapy has been well studied in immunocompetent subjects, few data exist on its clinical efficacy in immunocompromised populations. Data from 143 hematopoietic cell transplant recipients with documented seasonal influenza infection were reviewed to examine the impact of different corticosteroid regimens and antiviral therapy on clinical outcomes. In multivariable analyses, there was no observed difference between patients who received no, low doses (< 1 mg/kg/d) or high doses (≥ 1 mg/kg/d) of corticosteroids with regards to the development of lower respiratory tract disease (LRD), hypoxemia, need for mechanical ventilation or death. However, treatment with high dose steroids was associated with prolonged viral shedding (OR, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.0-11; p = 0.05). In multivariable analyses, antiviral therapy initiated to treat upper respiratory tract infection (URI) was associated with fewer cases of LRD (OR, 0.04; 95% CI, 0-0.2; p < 0.01) and fewer hypoxemia episodes (OR, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.1-0.9; p = 0.03). Our results suggest that corticosteroids are not associated with adverse clinical outcomes in hematopoietic cell transplant recipients infected with influenza, although use of higher doses may delay viral clearance. Antiviral therapy initiated during the URI phase reduced the risk of LRD and hypoxemia.
Influenza; corticosteroid; antiviral; Hematopoietic Cell Transplant; outcome
Childhood cancer survivors develop gastrointestinal malignancies more frequently and at a younger age than the general population, but risk factors for their development have not been well characterized.
To determine the risk and associated risk factors for gastrointestinal subsequent malignant neoplasms (SMN) in childhood cancer survivors.
Retrospective cohort study.
The Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, a multi-center study of childhood cancer survivors diagnosed between 1970 and 1986.
14,358 survivors of a malignancy diagnosed at < 21 years who had survived for 5 or more years from initial diagnosis.
Standardized incidence ratios (SIR) for gastrointestinal SMN were calculated using age-specific population data. Multivariate Cox regression models identified associations between risk factors and gastrointestinal SMN development.
At median follow-up of 22.8 years (range: 5.5-30.2), 45 gastrointestinal malignancies were identified. Gastrointestinal SMN risk was 4.6-fold higher in childhood cancer survivors than the general population (95% confidence interval [CI]: 3.5-6.1). Colorectal cancer SIR was 4.2 (95% CI: 2.8-6.3). The highest gastrointestinal SMN risk was associated with abdominal radiation (SIR=11.2, 95% CI: 7.6-16.4). However, survivors not exposed to radiation had a significantly increased risk (SIR=2.4, 95% CI-1.4-3.9). In addition to abdominal radiation, high dose procarbazine (RR=3.2, 95% CI 1.1-9.4) and platinum drugs (RR 7.6, 95% CI: 2.3-25.5) independently increased the gastrointestinal SMN risk.
This cohort has not yet attained an age at which gastrointestinal malignancy risk is greatest.
Childhood cancer survivors, particularly those exposed to abdominal radiation, are at increased risk for gastrointestinal SMN. These findings suggest that surveillance of at-risk childhood cancer survivors should commence at a younger age than recommended for the general population.
Carbonyl reductases (CBRs) catalyze reduction of anthracyclines to cardiotoxic alcohol metabolites. Polymorphisms in CBR1 and CBR3 influence synthesis of these metabolites. We examined whether single nucleotide polymorphisms in CBR1 (CBR1 1096G>A) and/or CBR3 (CBR3 V244M) modified the dose-dependent risk of anthracycline-related cardiomyopathy in childhood cancer survivors.
Patients and Methods
One hundred seventy survivors with cardiomyopathy (patient cases) were compared with 317 survivors with no cardiomyopathy (controls; matched on cancer diagnosis, year of diagnosis, length of follow-up, and race/ethnicity) using conditional logistic regression techniques.
A dose-dependent association was observed between cumulative anthracycline exposure and cardiomyopathy risk (0 mg/m2: reference; 1 to 100 mg/m2: odds ratio [OR], 1.65; 101 to 150 mg/m2: OR, 3.85; 151 to 200 mg/m2: OR, 3.69; 201 to 250 mg/m2: OR, 7.23; 251 to 300 mg/m2: OR, 23.47; > 300 mg/m2: OR, 27.59; Ptrend < .001). Among individuals carrying the variant A allele (CBR1:GA/AA and/or CBR3:GA/AA), exposure to low- to moderate-dose anthracyclines (1 to 250 mg/m2) did not increase the risk of cardiomyopathy. Among individuals with CBR3 V244M homozygous G genotypes (CBR3:GG), exposure to low- to moderate-dose anthracyclines increased cardiomyopathy risk when compared with individuals with CBR3:GA/AA genotypes unexposed to anthracyclines (OR, 5.48; P = .003), as well as exposed to low- to moderate-dose anthracyclines (OR, 3.30; P = .006). High-dose anthracyclines (> 250 mg/m2) were associated with increased cardiomyopathy risk, irrespective of CBR genotype status.
This study demonstrates increased anthracycline-related cardiomyopathy risk at doses as low as 101 to 150 mg/m2. Homozygosis for G allele in CBR3 contributes to increased cardiomyopathy risk associated with low- to moderate-dose anthracyclines, such that there seems to be no safe dose for patients homozygous for the CBR3 V244M G allele. These results suggest a need for targeted intervention for those at increased risk of cardiomyopathy.