Space-time clustering patterns in childhood solid tumours other than central nervous system tumours
Article first published online: 11 NOV 2002
Copyright © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
International Journal of Cancer
Volume 103, Issue 2, pages 253–258, 10 January 2003
How to Cite
McNally, R. J.Q., Kelsey, A. M., Eden, O. B., Alexander, F. E., Cairns, D. P. and Birch, J. M. (2003), Space-time clustering patterns in childhood solid tumours other than central nervous system tumours. Int. J. Cancer, 103: 253–258. doi: 10.1002/ijc.10812
- Issue published online: 26 NOV 2002
- Article first published online: 11 NOV 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 SEP 2002
- Manuscript Revised: 3 SEP 2002
- Manuscript Received: 3 JUL 2002
- solid tumours;
- space-time clustering;
The aetiology of most childhood solid tumours (other than central nervous system [CNS] tumours) is unclear. To investigate whether certain environmental exposures may be involved, we have analysed for space-time clustering using population-based data from North West England for the period 1954–98. Knox tests for space-time interactions between cases were applied with fixed thresholds of close in space, <5 km, and close in time, <1 year apart. Addresses at birth and at diagnosis were used. Tests were repeated replacing geographical distance with distance to the Nth nearest neighbour. N was chosen such that the mean distance was 5 km. Data were also examined by a second order procedure based on K-functions. There was significant evidence of space-time clustering for Wilms' tumours (p = 0.03 and 0.04, using the geographical distance and nearest neighbour versions of the Knox test; and p = 0.07 and 0.03, using the geographical distance and nearest neighbour versions of the K-function method), and soft tissue sarcomas (p = 0.01, using both the geographical distance and nearest neighbour versions of the Knox test; and p = 0.001 and 0.002, using the geographical distance and nearest neighbour versions of the K-function method) based on time and location at birth, but not time and location at diagnosis. There was little or no evidence of space-time clustering amongst other diagnostic groups. These are the first results to demonstrate space-time clustering for childhood Wilms' tumours and soft tissue sarcomas. The results are consistent with environmental exposure hypotheses, relating to locations pre-natally or peri-natally. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.