April 22, 2016 -Childhood Cancer


Anchor lead:  Good news on the childhood cancer front, Elizabeth Tracey reports

People who’ve had cancer as children are surviving longer and having fewer new cancers develop as well as fewer complications of treatment, a recent very large study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, reviews the data.

Nelson: After five years what trouble did they get in?  and what they saw in the 1970s, 10.7 % of them had died from second cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and by the 1980s that number was down to 7.9%  and by the 1990s that number was down to 5.8% and it looks like it is probably still falling. What this is is more judicious use of radiation therapy, who really needs it, more judicious use of certain chemotherapies, and the more accurate use of these kinds of treatments.  :29

Nelson says that as more genetic assessments are performed and more targeted therapies developed, he expects the survivorship from childhood cancers to continue to increase, a trend he believes is also underway relative to cancers in adults as well.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.