Incidence of, and survival after, CNS tumors in children

G. Gatta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present paper discusses the incidence and survival rates of pediatric patients with CNS tumor in Italy and Europe. Frequency and prognosis data according to tumor type were taken from the "International incidence of childhood cancer, Vol. II" and EUROCARE study. Registers of tumors are the main source of data. The yearly incidence of malignant CNS tumors in Europe varies from 40 (Sweden) to 20 (Slovenia) cases per million and is slightly higher in males. About 50% of CNS tumors are astrocytomas, with incidence rates ranging between 22 and 8 in Europe. Some studies report an increase in incidence but this may partly be due to an improved diagnostic ability. Survival at 5 years from diagnosis is 78% for astrocytoma, 50% for PNET/medulloblastoma and 55% for ependymomas. Prognosis is fatal for children aged less than 1 year and slightly more unfavorable for males. Children from Nordic countries show longer survival. Between 1983-1994 the mean reduction of death risk decreased by about 3% yearly. A higher incidence and improved survival of CNS tumor survivors require appropriate treatment and rehabilitation planning. The variable rates of survival in Europe suggest a possible improvement in countries where survival is lower.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-16
Number of pages8
JournalSAGGI - Child Development and Disabilities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Cancer registry
  • Childhood brain tumors
  • Epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Rehabilitation
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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