Early mortality among children with cancer: the role of social factors and comorbidities

Socioeconomic differences in childhood cancer survival have been observed even in European countries, but socioeconomic differences in mortality in the first months following a cancer diagnosis have been examined in few studies. Moreover, coexisting diseases have a negative impact on cancer treatment effectiveness among adults; however, this association has not yet been examined among children.

Over the past decades, advances in treatment combinations and techniques, pharmacology, as well as better tailoring of treatment by risk grouping, have led to improvements in treatment of childhood cancers, substantial survival improvements, and declining mortality rates. In most parts of Europe, childhood cancer survival rates are exceeding 80% nowadays.

However, not all children benefit from these improvements and reports from the US and Europe indicate that survival rates for several childhood cancer subtypes have flattened out during the recent years. Therefore, new strategies to identify and help the children that still do not survive their disease are of high clinical and public health relevance.

Because of the socioeconomic differences in childhood cancer survival observed in European countries, despite universal access to health care, and the lack of studies on the role on pre-existing comorbidities on childhood cancer survival, the overall aim of this project is to describe the extent of early mortality among children with cancer and determine whether there are differences with regards to social factors and comorbidity in Denmark and Sweden.

Collaborators

Line Kenborg: Childhood Cancer Research Group, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark

Friederike Erdmann: Division of Childhood Cancer Epidemiology, Institute of Medical Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics (IMBEI), University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany, former at the Danish Cancer Society Research Center

Financing

The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation (Barncancerfonden)

The Danish Childhood Cancer Foundation

Giorgio Tettamanti

Forskarassistent

Hanna Mogensen

Doktorand