Childhood cancer mortality in Europe, 1970-2007

Cristina Bosetti, Paola Bertuccio, Liliane Chatenoud, Eva Negri, Fabio Levi, Carlo La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To update trends in childhood cancer mortality in Europe, we analysed mortality data derived from the World Health Organization for all childhood neoplasms, bone and kidney cancers, non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) and leukaemias, in 30 European countries up to 2007. Between 1990-1994 and 2005-2007, mortality from all neoplasms steadily declined in most European countries (from 5.2 to 3.5/100,000 boys and from 4.3 to 2.8/100,000 girls in the European Union, EU). In 2005-2007, however, mortality rates from childhood cancers were still higher in countries from Eastern (4.9/100,000 boys and 3.9/100,000 girls) and Southern (4.0/100,000 boys and 3.1/100,000 girls) Europe than in those from Western (3.1/100,000 boys and 2.5/100,000 girls) and Northern (3.2/100,000 boys and 2.5/100,000 girls) Europe. Similar temporal trends and geographic patterns were observed for leukaemias, with declines from 1.7 to 0.9/100,000 boys and from 1.3 to 0.7/100,000 girls between 1990-1994 and 2005-2007 in the EU. For kidney cancer and NHL mortality rates were low and have been declining in larger European countries over the last 15 years. The pattern of trends was less clear for bone cancer, with no systematic downward trends at age 0-14, though some fall was evident at age 15-19. Thus, mortality from childhood cancer continued to decline over more recent years in most European countries. However, the mortality rates in Eastern - but also Southern - European countries in the mid 2000's were similar to those in the Western and Northern European ones in the early 1990's. Some further improvement in childhood cancer mortality is therefore achievable through more widespread and better adoption of currently available treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-394
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Cancer
  • Childhood
  • Europe
  • Mortality
  • Trends

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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