Pediatric Brain Tumors
The following information comes from the medical literature and demonstrates
that the rate of pediatric brain tumors is on the rise.
In this article from the Yale University School of Medicine,
doctors examined the rise of childhood cancers in Connecticut from 1935-1979.
threefold increase in the incidence of acute lymphoblastic leukemia
in males 0-4 years of age was observed
The incidence of central
nervous system cancers also increased in several age groups for both
sexes with the largest increase seen in males 0-4 years old."
van Hoff J, Schymura MJ, Curnen MG, Department of Pediatrics,
Yale University School of Medicine, "Trends in the incidence of
childhood and adolescent cancer in Connecticut, 1935-1979", Med
Pediatr Oncol 1988;16(2):78-87
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas reviewed national
data on childhood cancer rates from 1973 to 1988 and found it to be
increasing. The author wrote:
1991 edition of Cancer Statistics Review was scrutinized for information
on the status of pediatric cancers in the United States. The evidence
indicates that in the United States, cancer among children younger than
15 years of age is increasing in incidence."
Bleyer WA, "What can be learned about childhood cancer from
'Cancer statistics review 1973-1988' ", Cancer 1993 May
later, researchers at the University of Washington analyzed the rates
of childhood cancers from 1974 to 1989. They found that all the brain
cancers were on the rise. They also added that no one knows why these
cancers are going up. They wrote:
annual incidence rates were found for all childhood cancers combined,
acute lymphoid leukemia, and brain tumors
it remains largely undetermined
why childhood cancer incidence rates are increasing in the United States
Gurney JG, Davis S, Severson RK, Robison LL, "The influence
of subsequent neoplasms on incidence trends in childhood cancer"
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1994 Jun;3(4):349-51
researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital
of Philadelphia looked at the incidence of cancer in the "Greater
Delaware Valley" from 1970 to 1989. Cancers of the central nervous
system (e.g. brain tumors such as medulloblastoma) went up 2.7% a year.
little is known about the aetiology (cause) of cancer in children
report here on trends in the incidence of 15 categories of cancer in
children under 15 years of age from 1970 to 1989, using data from the
Greater Delaware Valley Pediatric Tumor Registry
of central nervous system (CNS) tumors rose 2.7% a year. All three subgroups
in this category, glioma, PNET/medulloblastoma, and other CNS tumors,
The rise in CNS tumor incidence confirms previous
reports from the U.S. and Great Britain."
Bunin GR, Feuer EJ, Witman PA, Meadows AT, "Increasing incidence
of childhood cancer: report of 20 years experience from the greater
Delaware Valley Pediatric Tumor Registry" Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol
That same year,
researchers at Wayne State University of Medicine in Detroit examined
data on childhood cancer from the National Cancer Institute for the
years 1974-1991. They found it had increased especially in "young
children." They wrote:
data from nine registries (from)
the National Cancer Institute
Rates increased an average of 2% or more per year
for astroglial tumors, rhabdomyosarcomas, germ cell tumors and osteosarcomas
trends in general were strongest in young children. In particular, increases
in astroglial tumors and rhabdomyosarcomas were most apparent among
children under three years of age and for retinoblastoma and neuroblastoma
among children in their first year of life."
Gurney JG, Davis S, Severson RK, Fang JY, Ross JA, Robison LL,
"Trends in cancer incidence among children in the U.S." Cancer
1996 Aug 1;78(3):532-41
researchers in Minnesota reviewed the rates of pediatric cancer in eight
Minnesota counties. Over 1,100 cancers were diagnosed in 6 years (1988-1994).
They noted that cancer rates were increasing, "particularly brain
cancer incidence patterns for Minnesota, obtained from the Minnesota
Cancer Surveillance System, were compared with national rates as well
as with historic data from eight Minnesota counties. In total, 1,140
neoplasms were diagnosed in children (ages 0 to 14) between 1988 and
1994. Leukemias were the most common diagnosis for boys (30.3%) and
girls (29.6%), followed by central nervous system tumors...In particular,
the incidence rate for astrocytoma ( a kind of brain tumor)in boys was
significantly elevated. Childhood cancer incidence, particularly brain
tumors, has increased in the eight-county region from 1969 to 1994.
This analysis demonstrated the Minnesota's childhood cancer incidence
patterns are similar to national patterns."
Swensen AR, Bushhouse SA "Childhood cancer incidence and
trends in Minnesota, 1988-1994" Minn Med 1998 Dec;81(12):27-32
the National Cancer Institute looked at the trends in childhood cancer
between 1975 and 1995. They found a "statistically significant"
rise in the occurrence for brain and other central nervous system cancers.
brain and other central nervous system cancers, incidence rose modestly,
although statistically significantly
Linet MS, Ries LA, Smith MA, Tarone RE, Devesa SS, "Cancer
surveillance series: recent trends in childhood cancer incidence and
mortality in the United States" J Natl Cancer Inst 1999
That same year,
the International Journal of Health Services published a report in which
they stated that the "rising childhood cancer rate represents
a far more serious problem in the United States than previous reports
the early 1980s to the early 1990s, the incidence of cancer in American
children under 10 years of age rose 37 percent, or 3 percent annually.
There is an inverse correlation between increases in cancer rates and
age at diagnosis; the largest rise (54 percent) occurred in children
diagnosed before their first birthday. Rates rose for all 11 states
and cities included in the analysis. A jump in cancer rates for children
born in 1982-83 was followed by a drop; but another abrupt rise for
the 1986-87 birth cohort has been sustained thereafter. Results indicate
that the rising childhood cancer rate represents a far more serious
problem in the United States than previous reports have suggested
Mangano JJ, "A rise in the incidence of childhood cancer
in the United States" Int J Health Serv 1999;29(2):393-408
Raphaele and Michael Horwin, 1999 - 2002