International Incidence Of Childhood Cancer

Eva STELIAROVA-FOUCHER, International Agency for Research on Cancer, France
COLOMBET M. 1 , GLOECKLER-RIES L. 2 , HESSELING P. 3 , MORENO F. 4 , SHIN H. 5 , STILLER C. 6

1 Section of Cancer Surveillance, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France
2 Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, USA
3 Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Stellenbosch, Tygerberg, South Africa
4 Paediatric Cancer Registry, National Cancer Institute, Buenos Aires, Argentina
5 Seoul National University Children′s Hospital, Adolescent Cancer Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea
6 Public Health England, Knowledge & Intelligence (Childhood Cancer), United Kingdom

PURPOSE
Cancers occur rarely in childhood. They are comprised of distinct histology types and raise a range of ethical, psychological, and societal concerns. The extent of cancer burden is unknown in many low-resource countries, as the data on childhood cancer incidence are not collected. IARC, jointly with the International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR), is coordinating a third study in the series, International Incidence of Childhood Cancer (IICC-3). The new publication will provide comparable data on childhood cancer occurrence worldwide.

METHODS
Cancer registries were identified through the IACR and other links. Of the total of 475 invited registries 410 had enrolled. Overall, 781 distinct datasets were processed and their quality was evaluated. The peer-review process was conducted by the IICC-3 Editors during three face-to-face meetings and over 50 teleconferences, according to standardised criteria. The quality of many datasets has improved considerably during this process. More than 350 datasets were qualified for inclusion.

RESULTS
The target period covered more than 20 years, starting with 1990, even though many registries included shorter periods. The reported rates in the age 0-14 years per million person-years varied widely across and within the continents. The lowest rates on average were reported from Africa (approximate range 50-100) and the highest from the North America (150-180). The incidence rates in the age group 15-19 were slightly higher. The incidence rates were higher than those reported in the previous edition of the series.

CONCLUSIONS
IICC-3 is a unique source of comparable data on childhood cancer and constitutes a good ground for assessment of cancer burden in children. The geographical differences suggest a variety of aetiological hypotheses. Sustained data availability over time and their quality is indispensable to devise cancer control mechanisms in this population.

FUNDING
IICC-3 is supported by IARC and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).