Frailty, a phenotype reported among 9.9% of individuals 65 years old and older (9.6% of women; 5.2% of men), has not been assessed among adult childhood cancer survivors (CCS). We estimated the prevalence of frailty and examined associations with morbidity and mortality.
Participants included 1,922 CCS at least 10 years from original cancer diagnosis (men, 50.3%; mean age, 33.6 ± 8.1 years) and a comparison population of 341 participants without cancer histories. Prefrailty and frailty were defined as two and ≥ three of the following conditions: low muscle mass, self-reported exhaustion, low energy expenditure, slow walking speed, and weakness. Morbidity was defined as grade 3 to 4 chronic conditions (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.0). Fisher's exact tests were used to compare, by frailty status, percentages of those with morbidity. In a subset of 162 CCS who returned for a second visit, Poisson regression was used to evaluate associations between frailty and new onset morbidity. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to evaluate associations between frailty and death.
The prevalence of prefrailty and frailty were 31.5% and 13.1% among women and 12.9% and 2.7% among men, respectively, with prevalence increasing with age. Frail CCS were more likely than nonfrail survivors to have a chronic condition (82.1% v 73.8%). In models adjusted for existing chronic conditions, baseline frailty was associated with risk of death (hazard ratio, 2.6; 95% CI, 1.2 to 6.2) and chronic condition onset (relative risk, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.2 to 4.2).
The prevalence of frailty among young adult CCS is similar to that among adults 65 years old and older, suggesting accelerated aging.
Childhood cancer survivors (CCSs) are at risk for physical disability. The aim of this investigation was to characterize and compare physical performance among CCSs and a group of siblings age < 18 years and determine if diagnosis, treatment, and physical activity levels were associated with lower performance scores.
CCSs ≥ 5 years from diagnosis and a sibling comparison group were recruited and evaluated for strength, mobility, and fitness. Physical performance measures were compared in regression models between survivors and siblings by diagnosis and among survivors by treatment exposures and physical activity levels.
CCSs (n = 183; mean age ± standard deviation [SD], 13.5 ± 2.5 years; 53% male) scored lower than siblings (n = 147; mean age ± SD, 13.4 ± 2.4 years; 50% male) on lower-extremity strength testing, the timed up-and-go (TUG) test, and the 6-minute walk (6MW) test, despite reporting similar levels and types of habitual physical activity. The lowest scores were prevalent among survivors of CNS tumors and bone and soft tissue sarcomas on strength testing (score ± SD: CNS tumors, 76.5 ± 4.7; sarcoma 67.1 ± 7.2 v siblings, 87.3 ± 2.4 Newton-meters quadricep strength at 90° per second; P = .04 and .01, respectively) and among CNS tumor survivors on the TUG (score ± SD: 5.1 ± 0.1 v siblings, 4.4 ± 0.1 seconds; P < .001) and 6MW tests (score ± SD: 533.3 ± 15.6 v siblings, 594.1 ± 8.3 m; P < .001).
CCSs may have underlying physiologic deficits that interfere with function that cannot be completely overcome by participation in regular physical activity. These survivors may need referral for specialized exercise interventions in addition to usual counseling to remain physically active.
We investigated the association between prevalence of symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in adult survivors of childhood cancer enrolled in the St Jude Lifetime Cohort study.
Eligibility criteria include childhood malignancy treated at St Jude, survival ≥ 10 years from diagnosis, and current age ≥ 18 years. Study participants were 1,667 survivors (response rate = 65%). Symptoms were self-reported by using a comprehensive health questionnaire and categorized into 12 classes: cardiac; pulmonary; motor/movement; pain in head; pain in back/neck; pain involving sites other than head, neck, and back; sensation abnormalities; disfigurement; learning/memory; anxiety; depression; and somatization. HRQOL was measured by using physical/mental component summary (PCS/MCS) and six domain scores of the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey. Multivariable regression analysis was performed to investigate associations between symptom classes and HRQOL. Cumulative prevalence of symptom classes in relation to time from diagnosis was estimated.
Pain involving sites other than head, neck and back, and disfigurement represented the most frequent symptom classes, endorsed by 58.7% and 56.3% of survivors, respectively. Approximately 87% of survivors reported multiple symptom classes. Greater symptom prevalence was associated with poorer HRQOL. In multivariable analysis, symptom classes explained up to 60% of the variance in PCS and 56% of the variance in MCS; demographic and clinical variables explained up to 15% of the variance in PCS and 10% of the variance in MCS. Longer time since diagnosis was associated with higher cumulative prevalence in all symptom classes.
A large proportion of survivors suffered from many symptom classes, which was associated with HRQOL impairment.
To ascertain prevalence of peripheral sensory and motor neuropathy; to evaluate impairments in relation to function.
St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study, a clinical follow-up study designed to evaluate adverse late effects in adult survivors of childhood cancer.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRH).
Eligibility required treatment for an extracranial solid malignancy between 1962 and 2002, age ≥18 years, ≥10 years post-diagnosis, no history of cranial radiation. 531 survivors were included in the evaluation: median age 32 years, median time from diagnosis 25 years.
Main Outcome Measures
Primary exposure measures were cumulative doses of vinca-alkaloid and platinum-based chemotherapies. Survivors with scores ≥ 1 on the sensory subscale of the modified Total Neuropathy Score were classified with prevalent sensory impairment. Those with sex-specific Z-scores of ≤−1.3 for dorsiflexion strength were classified with prevalent motor impairment. Participants completed the 6-minute walk test (endurance), the timed up and go test (mobility), and the sensory organization test (balance).
The prevalence of sensory and motor impairment was 20% and 17.5%, respectively. Vinca-alkaloid exposure was associated with an increased risk of motor impairment (adjusted odds ratio (OR)=1.66, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.04–2.64) without evidence for a dose response. Platinum exposure was associated with increased risk of sensory impairment (adjusted OR= 1.62, 95% CI: 0.97–2.72) without evidence of a dose response. Sensory impairment was associated with poor endurance (OR=1.99, 95% CI: 0.99–4.00) and mobility (OR=1.65, 95% CI: 0.96–2.83).
Vincristine and cisplatin exposure may increase risk for long-term motor and sensory impairment, respectively. Survivors with sensory impairment are at increased risk for functional performance limitations.
Peripheral nervous system diseases; vincristine; cisplatin; neoplasm
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
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.
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.
Childhood cancer survivors (CCS) experience late effects that interfere with physical function. Limitations in physical function can impact CCS abilities to actively participate in daily activities. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the concordance between self-reported physical performance and clinically evaluated physical performance among adult CCS.
CCS 18+ years of age and 10+ years from diagnosis who are participants in the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort study responded to the physical function section of the Medical Outcome Survey Short Form (SF36). Measured physical performance was evaluated with the physical performance test (PPT), and the six minute walk test (6MW).
1778 individuals (50.8% female) with a median time since diagnosis of 24.9 years (range 10.9-48.2) and a median age of 32.4 years (range 19.1-48.2) completed testing. Limitations in physical performance were self-reported by 14.1% of participants. The accuracy of self-report physical performance was 0.87 when the SF-36 was compared to the 6MW or PPT. Reporting inaccuracies most often involved reporting a physical performance limitation. Poor accuracy was associated with previous diagnosis of a bone or central nervous system tumor, lymphoma, older age, and large body size.
These results suggest that self-report, using the physical performance sub-scale of the SF-36 correctly identifies CCS who do not have physical performance limitations. In contrast, this same measure is less able to identify individuals who have performance limitations.
Self-report; physical function; childhood cancer; physical performance limitation; cancer survivorship
Treatment regimens for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) contain neurotoxic agents that may interfere with neuromuscular health. This study examined associations between neuromuscular impairments and physical function, and between neuromuscular impairments, and doses of vincristine and intrathecal methotrexate used to treat leukemia among survivors of childhood ALL.
ALL survivors 10+ years from diagnosis participated in neuromuscular performance testing. Treatment data were abstracted from medical records. Regression models were used to evaluate associations between treatment factors, neuromuscular impairments and physical performance.
Among 415 survivors (median age 35 years; range 21–52), balance, mobility and six-minute walk (6MW) distances were 1.3 standard deviations below age- and sex-specific values in 15.4%, 3.6% and 46.5% of participants, respectively. Impairments included absent Achilles tendon reflexes (39.5%), active dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) < 5 degrees (33.5%) and impaired knee extension strength (30.1%). In adjusted models (including cranial radiation), survivors treated with intrathecal methotrexate cumulative doses 215+ mg/m2 were 3.4 (95% CI 1.2–9.8) times more likely than survivors who received no intrathecal methotrexate, and those who received vincristine cumulative doses 39+ mg/m2 1.5 (95% CI 1.0–2.5) times more likely than those who received lower doses to have impaired ROM. Higher intrathecal methotrexate doses were associated with reduced knee extension strength and 6MW distances.
Neuromuscular impairments are prevalent in childhood ALL survivors and interfere with physical performance. Higher cumulative doses of vincristine and/or intrathecal methotrexate are associated with long-term neuromuscular impairments, which have implications on future function as these survivors age.
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia; Survivor; Neuromuscular impairment; Function; Physical performance; Intrathecal methotrexate; Vincristine; Late effect
Young adult survivors of childhood brain tumors (BT) may have late-effects that compromise physical performance and everyday task participation.
To evaluate muscle strength, fitness, physical performance, and task participation among adult survivors of childhood BT.
In-home evaluations and interviews were conducted for 156 participants (54% male). Results on measures of muscle strength, fitness, physical performance, and participation were compared between survivors and population-group members with chi-squared statistics and two-sample t-tests. Associations between late effects and physical performance, and physical performance and participation, were evaluated in regression models.
BT survivors were a median age of 22 (18–58), and 14.7 (6.5–45.9) years from diagnosis. Survivors had lower estimates of grip strength (Female: 24.7±9.2 vs. 31.5±5.8, Male: 39.0±12.2 vs. 53.0±10.1 kilograms), knee extension strength (Female: 246.6±95.5 vs. 331.5±5.8, Male: 304.7±116.4 vs. 466.6±92.1 Newtons) and peak oxygen uptake (Female: 25.1±8.8 vs. 31.3±5.1, Male: 24.6±9.5 vs. 33.2±3.4 milliliters/kilogram/minute) than population-group members. Physical performance was lower among survivors and associated with not living independently (OR=5.0, 95% CI=2.0–12.2) and not attending college (OR=2.3, 95% CI 1.2–4.4).
Muscle strength and fitness values among BT survivors are similar to those among persons 60+ years, and are associated with physical performance limitations. Physical performance limitations are associated with poor outcomes in home and school environments. These data indicate an opportunity for interventions targeted at improving long-term physical function in this survivor population.
physical performance; disability; brain tumor; cancer survivor; pediatric
To determine rates, patterns, and predictors of neurocognitive impairment in adults decades after treatment for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Patients and Methods
Survivors of childhood ALL treated at St Jude Children's Research Hospital who were still alive at 10 or more years after diagnosis and were age ≥ 18 years were recruited for neurocognitive testing. In all, 1,014 survivors were eligible, 738 (72.8%) agreed to participate, and 567 (76.8%) of these were evaluated. Mean age was 33 years; mean time since diagnosis was 26 years. Medical record abstraction was performed for data on doses of cranial radiation therapy (CRT) and cumulative chemotherapy. Multivariable modeling was conducted and glmulti package was used to select the best model with minimum Akaike information criterion.
Impairment rates across neurocognitive domains ranged from 28.6% to 58.9%, and those treated with chemotherapy only demonstrated increased impairment in all domains (all P values < .006). In survivors who received no CRT, dexamethasone was associated with impaired attention (relative risk [RR], 2.12; 95% CI, 1.11 to 4.03) and executive function (RR, 2.42; 95% CI, 1.20 to 4.91). The impact of CRT was dependent on young age at diagnosis for intelligence, academic, and memory functions. Risk for executive function problems increased with survival time in a CRT dose-dependent fashion. In all survivors, self-reported behavior problems increased by 5% (RR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.09) with each year from diagnosis. Impairment was associated with reduced educational attainment and unemployment.
This study demonstrates persistent and significant neurocognitive impairment in adult survivors of childhood ALL and warrants ongoing monitoring of brain health to facilitate successful adult development and to detect early onset of decline as survivors mature.
Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are a heterogeneous group of mesenchymal malignancies that occur throughout the lifespan. The impact of age on disease features and outcome is unclear.
We analyzed the clinical features and outcome of all STS cases registered between 1973 and 2006 in the SEER database.
There were 48,012 cases that met the selection criteria. Individuals less than 20 years of age represented 5.6%, with rhabdomyosarcoma being the most common subtype. In adults, the most common types were Kaposi sarcoma, fibrohistiocytic tumors, and leiomyosarcoma. Rhabdomyosarcoma was the only entity with a median age < 20 years. Male predominance (male:female of 1.5:1) was noticed for almost all types of STS, except for alveolar soft part sarcoma and leiomyosarcoma. Tumor stage was similar across different age groups. Younger patients (<50 years) had significantly better survival than older patients (88.8%±0.2% vs. 40%±0.3%, P<0.001), but for most histologies the survival decline with advancing age was gradual and did not occur abruptly at the onset of adulthood. The decline in survival with advancing age was particularly significant for rhabdomyosarcoma.
With few exceptions, the clinical features of STS are similar in children and adults. However, individuals over 50 years of age have an inferior survival.
Soft tissue sarcoma; age; prognosis; SEER; epidemiology
Although substantial increases in survival rates among children diagnosed with cancer have been observed in recent decades, survivors are at risk of developing therapy-related chronic health conditions. Among children and adolescents treated for cancer, acquisition of peak bone mass may be compromised by cancer therapies, nutritional deficiencies and reduced physical activity. Accordingly, failure to accrue optimal bone mass during childhood may place survivors at increased risk for deficits in bone density and fracture in later life. Current recommendations for the treatment of bone density decrements among cancer survivors include dietary counseling and supplementation to ensure adequate calcium and vitamin D intake. Few strategies exist to prevent or treat bone loss. Moving forward, studies characterizing the trajectory of changes in bone density over time will facilitate the development of interventions and novel therapies aimed at minimizing bone loss among survivors of childhood cancer.
Cancer; childhood; survivor; late effect; bone; osteoporosis; osteopenia; bone mineral density; glucocorticoid; methotrexate; cranial radiation; bisphosphonate
The purpose of this review is to summarize literature that describes the impact of exercise on health and physical function among children during and after treatment for cancer. Relevant studies were identified by entering the following search terms into Pubmed: aerobic training; resistance training; stretching; pediatric; children; AND cancer. Reference lists in retrieved manuscripts were also reviewed to identify additional trials. We include fifteen intervention trials published between 1993 and 2011 that included children younger than age 21 years with cancer diagnoses. Nine included children with an acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) diagnosis, and six children with mixed cancer diagnoses. Generally, interventions tested were either in-hospital supervised exercise training or home based programs designed to promote physical activity. Early evidence from small studies indicates that the effects of exercise include increased cardiopulmonary fitness, improved muscle strength and flexibility, reduced fatigue and improved physical function. Generalizations to the entire childhood cancer and childhood cancer survivor populations are difficult as most of the work has been done in children during treatment for and among survivors of ALL. Additional randomized studies are needed to confirm these benefits in larger populations of children with ALL, and in populations with cancer diagnoses other than ALL.
Cardiovascular-related toxicities have been reported among survivors of osteosarcoma.
Fasting blood samples from 24 osteosarcoma survivors were analyzed for high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), triglycerides, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), apolipoprotein-β, lipoprotein (a), fibrinogen, circulating endothelial cells (CECs), and surface expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1). Values were compared to subjects in the natural history Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) cohort study except for CECs and VCAM-1 expression which were compared to controls studied at the University of Minnesota Lillehei Clinical Trials Unit.
Survivors (54.2% male), median age 18 years (9–32) at diagnosis, 36.5 years (20–56) at evaluation were treated with a variety of chemotherapeutic exposures, all but one were exposed to doxorubicin (median dose 450 mg/m2; range: 90–645 mg/m2), 14 (58.3%) received cisplatin, and 3 (12.5%) were exposed to carboplatin. Two survivors (8.3%) received radiation therapy for disease relapse. Compared to CARDIA subjects, mean hsCRP (3.0 mg/L ± 2.0 vs. 1.6 ± 2.3), triglycerides (151 mg/dl ± 81.7 vs. 95.4 ± 101.3), lipoprotein (a) (34.9 mg/dl ± 17.7 vs. 13.8 ± 22.0), and fibrinogen (315.0 mg/dl ± 49.3 vs. 252.4 ± 61.7) were significantly elevated. The number of CECs (0.47 cells/ml ± 2.5 vs. 0.92 ± 2.5) did not differ while surface expression of VCAM-1 (86.4% ± 34.0 vs. 42.1 ± 33.8) was significantly elevated compared to controls.
Among survivors of osteosarcoma, assessed a median of 14 years from diagnosis, there is evidence of vascular inflammation, dyslipidemia, and early atherogenesis.
Survivorship; Osteosarcoma; Vascular late effects
Physical performance limitations are one of the potential long-term consequences following diagnosis and treatment for childhood cancer. The purpose of this review is to describe the risk factors for and the participation restrictions that result from physical performance limitations among childhood cancer survivors who participated in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS). Articles previously published from the CCSS cohort related to physical performance limitations were reviewed and the results summarized. Our review showed that physical performance limitations are prevalent among childhood cancer survivors and may increase as they age. Host-based risk factors for physical disability include an original diagnosis of bone tumor, brain tumor, or Hodgkin's disease; female sex; and an income less than $20,000 per year. Treatment-based risk factors include radiation and treatment with a combination of alkylating agents and anthracyclines. Musculoskeletal, neurologic, cardiac, pulmonary, sensory, and endocrine organ system dysfunction also increase the risk of developing a physical performance limitation. In summary, monitoring of physical performance limitations in an aging cohort of childhood cancer survivors is important and will help determine the impact of physical performance limitations on morbidity, mortality, and caregiver burden. In addition, in developing restorative and preventive interventions for childhood cancer survivors, we must take into account the special needs of survivors with physical disability to optimize their health and enhance participation in daily living activities.
Participation in physical activity is important for childhood cancer survivors because inactivity may compound cancer/treatment-related late-effects. However, some survivors may have difficulty participating physical activity and these individuals need to be identified so that risk-based guidelines for physical activity, tailored to specific needs, can be developed and implemented.
To document physical activity patterns in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) cohort, compare physical activity patterns to siblings in CCSS and a population based sample from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and evaluate associations between diagnosis, treatment, and personal factors and risk for inactive lifestyle.
Percentages of participation in recommended physical activity were compared among survivors, siblings and population norms. Generalized linear models were used to evaluate associations between cancer diagnosis and therapy, sociodemographics and risk for inactive lifestyle.
Participants included 9301 adult survivors of childhood cancer and 2886 siblings. Survivors were less likely than siblings (46% vs. 52%) to meet physical activity guidelines and more likely than siblings to report inactive lifestyle (23% vs. 14%). Medulloblastoma (35%) and osteosarcoma (27%) survivors reported highest levels of inactive lifestyle. Treatments with cranial radiation or amputation was associated with an inactive lifestyle as were female gender, black race, older age, lower educational attainment, underweight or obese status, smoking, and depression.
Childhood cancer survivors are less active than a sibling comparison group or an age and gender-matched population sample. Survivors at risk for inactive lifestyle should be considered high priority for developing and testing of intervention approaches.
Childhood Cancer; Physical Activity; Survivorship
It is not known to what extent prevalence estimates of late effects among childhood cancer survivors derived from clinic based samples represent the actual estimates that would be derived if the entire population of childhood cancer survivors was recruited and evaluated for a particular outcome.
In a large retrospective cohort study of childhood cancer survivors, the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), the prevalence of chronic health conditions among participants who reported being seen in a cancer center or long-term follow-up clinic was compared to the prevalence of chronic conditions in the entire cohort.
When compared to survivors who had no medical care in the previous two years, survivors accessing medical follow-up were significantly more likely to have chronic health conditions. Relative risks of reporting a chronic health condition were 1.4 (95% CI 1.3 – 1.5) if seen in a cancer center or long-term follow-up clinic and 1.2 (95% CI 1.1-1.3) if seen in a general medical care setting. Estimates derived from only those childhood cancer survivors who were seen in a cancer center or long term follow-up clinic overestimate the prevalence of any chronic disease by 9.3% (95% CI: 7.0-11.6%).
Applying chronic condition prevalence estimates from a clinical population to the general population of childhood cancer survivors must be undertaken with caution. Survivorship research must maintain a high level of scientific rigor to ensure that results reported in the literature are interpreted within the appropriate context.
To estimate the prevalence of emotional distress in a large cohort of adult survivors of childhood cancer and evaluate the interrelationship of risk factors including cancer-related late effects.
1,863 adult survivors of childhood cancer, median age of 32 years at follow-up, completed comprehensive medical evaluations. Clinically relevant emotional distress was assessed using the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 and was defined as T-scores ≥63. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using multivariable logistic regression models to identify risk factors for distress. Path analysis was used to examine associations among identified risk factors.
Elevated global distress was reported by 15.1% of survivors. Cancer-related pain was associated with elevated distress (OR 8.72; 95% CI, 5.32 – 14.31). Survivors who reported moderate learning or memory problems were more likely to have elevated distress than survivors who reported no learning or memory problems (OR 3.27; 95% CI, 2.17 – 4.93). Path analysis implied that cancer-related pain has a direct effect on distress symptoms and an indirect effect through socioeconomic status and learning or memory problems. Similar results were observed for learning or memory problems.
Childhood cancer-related morbidities including pain and learning or memory problems appear to be directly and indirectly associated with elevated distress symptoms decades after treatment. Understanding these associations may help inform intervention targets for survivors of childhood cancer experiencing symptoms of distress.
Implications for cancer survivors
A subset of long-term childhood cancer survivors experience significant emotional distress. Physical and cognitive late effects may contribute to these symptoms.
emotional distress; childhood cancer; survivorship; late effects
Cancer survivors experience treatment-related complications that can be exacerbated by tobacco use. This study reports the prevalence of smokeless (ST) and dual tobacco (DT) use, compares these rates to the US population, and examines tobacco risk factors among males surviving childhood cancer. Data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) 2007 survey were used (N = 3378). Standardized incidence ratios (SIR) were obtained by comparing CCSS data to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Logistic regression was used to evaluate associations between risk factors and tobacco use. Among male survivors, 8.3% and 2.3% were current ST and DT users, respectively. Survivors were less likely than population males to report ST (SIR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.57 – 0.72) or DT (SIR = 0.37, CI = 0.29 – 0.46) use; however, non-white survivors aged 35–49 years were more likely to use ST (SIR = 2.32, CI = 1.27 – 3.90). ST use was associated (p < 0.05) with younger age at diagnosis, lower education, being married or divorced/separated, and not living in the Northeastern US, while history of cardiovascular- and/or pulmonary-toxic treatment was protective. DT use was associated with younger age at diagnosis, lower education, divorce/separation, and high psychological distress. Having active heart or circulatory conditions was protective. Although ST/DT use is generally low among childhood cancer survivors, these findings suggest that tobacco use screening should be expanded to include ST use and that ST-specific education and cessation interventions should be provided to users. Screening and intervening for ST/DT use in childhood cancer survivors will reduce tobacco-related morbidity and mortality.
smokeless tobacco; dual tobacco; cancer survivors; health behaviors
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
The aims of this study are to compare self-reported sleep quality in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors and a population-based comparison group, to identify treatment-related factors associated with sleep disturbances, and to identify the impact of post-treatment obesity and depression on sleep scores in adult survivors of childhood brain tumors.
Randomly selected adult survivors of childhood brain tumors (n = 78) and age, sex and zip code matched population-group members (n = 78) completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Brief Symptom Inventory. Sleep quality and the effect of demographic, treatment, and post-treatment characteristics were evaluated with linear and logistic regression analyses.
Brain tumor survivors were 2.7 (95% CI: 1.1, 6.0) times more likely than the comparison group to take greater than 30 minutes to fall asleep. Females in both groups reported worse sleep quality and impaired daytime functioning. Among survivors, post-treatment obesity was associated with daytime dysfunction.
These results agree with previous studies associating sleep, sex and obesity and identified longer sleep latency as being a problem among childhood brain tumor survivors. Further study identifying factors contributing to sleep latency, and its impact on quality of life among adult survivors of childhood brain tumors is needed.
Sleep quality; sleep latency; adult survivors; childhood brain tumors
To evaluate long-term health outcomes among childhood cancer survivors, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRH) has established the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort (SJLIFE), comprised of adult survivors who undergo risk-directed clinical assessments. As in any human research study, SJLIFE participants are volunteers who may not represent the source population from which they were recruited. A lack of proportional representation could result in biased estimates of exposure-outcome associations. We compared available demographic, disease, and neighborhood level characteristics between participants and the source population to assess the potential for selection bias.
Potentially eligible patients for SJLIFE were enumerated as of October 31, 2011. Data from electronic medical records were combined with geocoded census data to develop an analytic data set of 3,108 patients (the evaluable source population) of whom 1766 (57%) underwent clinical assessment (participants). The ratio of relative frequencies (RRF) for characteristics was compared between participants and the source population, where RRF=1.0 indicates equal frequency of the characteristic.
Participants and the source population had similar frequencies for most characteristics. Characteristics with modest relative differences (RRFs between 0.86 and 1.11) included sex, distance from SJCRH, primary diagnosis, median household income, median home value, and urbanicity.
Our results indicate a lack of substantive differences in the relative frequencies of demographic, disease, or neighborhood characteristics between participants and the source population in SJLIFE, thus alleviating serious concerns about selective non-participation in this cohort. Bias in specific exposure-outcome relations is still possible and will be considered in individual analyses.
epidemiology; bias; cancer survivorship
Survivors of pediatric brain tumors are at-risk for late effects
which may affect mobility within and access to the physical environment.
This study examined the prevalence of and risk factors for restricted
environmental access in survivors of childhood brain tumors and investigated
the associations between reduced environmental access, health-related
quality of life (HRQOL), and survivors’ social functioning.
In-home evaluations were completed for 78 brain tumor survivors and
78 population-based controls matched on age, sex, and zip-code. Chi-square
tests and multivariable logistic regression models were used to calculate
odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for poor environmental
access and reduced HRQOL.
The median age of survivors was 22 years at the time of study.
Compared to controls, survivors were more likely to report avoiding most
dimensions of their physical environment, including a single flight of
stairs (p<0.001), uneven surfaces (p<0.001), traveling alone
(p=0.01), and traveling to unfamiliar places (p=0.001). Overall, survivors
were 4.8 times more likely to report poor environmental access (95% CI,
2.0-11.5, p<0.001). In survivors, poor environmental access was
associated with reduced physical function (OR=3.6, 95% CI, 1.0-12.8,
p=0.04), general health (OR=6.0, 95% CI, 1.8-20.6, p=0.002), and social
functioning (OR=4.3, 95% CI, 1.1-17.3, p=0.03).
Adult survivors of pediatric brain tumors were more likely to avoid
their physical environment than matched controls. Restricted environmental
access was associated with reduced HRQOL and diminished social functioning.
Interventions directed at improving physical mobility may have significant
impact on survivor quality of life.
CNS malignancies; survivorship; quality of life; environmental access
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.