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BACKGROUND: Patterns and risks of subsequent primary tumours (SPTs) among long-term survivors of childhood cancer have been extensively described, but much less is known about early SPTs (ESPTs) occurring within 5 years after initial diagnosis. PROCEDURE: We carried out a population-based study of ESPTs following childhood cancer throughout Britain, using the National Registry of Childhood Tumours. The full study series comprised all ESPTs occurring among 56,620 children whose initial cancer diagnosis was in the period 1971-2010. Frequencies of ESPT were calculated for the entire cohort. For analyses of risk, follow-up began 92 days after initial diagnosis. RESULTS: ESPT developed in 0.4% of children overall, 0.52% of those initially diagnosed at age less than 1 year and 0.38% of those diagnosed at age 1-14 years. Standardised incidence ratio (SIR) was 7.7 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 6.7-8.9), overall 9.5 (95% CI: 7.1-12.5) for children initially diagnosed in 1981-1990 and 6.5-7.5 for those from earlier and later decades. SIR by type of first cancer ranged from 4.4 (95% CI: 1.8-9.1) for Wilms tumour to 13.1 (95% CI: 7.7-21.0) for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. SIR by type of ESPT ranged from 2.0 (95% CI: 1.0-3.4) for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia to 66.6 (95% CI: 52.3-83.6) for acute myeloid leukaemia. Predisposition syndromes were known to be implicated in 21% of children with ESPT and suspected in another 5%. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides an overview of the patterns and risks of ESPTs in a large population where many children received therapy that is still in widespread use. Further research will be needed to monitor and understand changes in risk as childhood cancer treatment continues to evolve.

Original publication




Journal article


Pediatr Blood Cancer

Publication Date



pediatric cancer, population based, second primary neoplasms