Severity of health conditions identified in a pediatric cancer survivor program

Authors

  • Karen Wasilewski-Masker MD, MSc,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
    • The Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, 5455 Meridian Mark Road, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30342.
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  • Ann C. Mertens PhD,

    1. The Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Briana Patterson MD,

    1. The Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Lillian R. Meacham MD

    1. The Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to declare.

Abstract

Background

The Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events v3.0 (CTCAE) was designed for reporting acute and late effects of cancer treatment. To date, no study of pediatric-aged cancer survivors has graded health conditions using CTCAE, for patients in active follow-up in a cancer survivor program.

Procedure

Medical records were reviewed on 519 survivors of non-central nervous system childhood malignancies seen in the Cancer Survivor Program between January 1, 2001 and December 15, 2005. Health problems identified through histories, physicals, and recommended evaluation using the Children's Oncology Group (COG) Long-Term Follow-Up Guidelines for Survivors of Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer were graded using the CTCAE.

Results

Overall, 1,625 adverse health conditions were reported or detected in 519 pediatric-age cancer survivors (mean age at diagnosis 4.8 years; mean age at first survivor visit 12.1 years). The majority of conditions were mild (47.4% Grade 1) or moderate (35.2% Grade 2); however, 17.4% of conditions were severe (Grade 3) or life-threatening/disabling (Grade 4). Only 12.1% of survivors had no adverse condition, and 36.2% of survivors had a Grade 3 or 4 condition. In a Cox multivariate analysis risk factors for a Grade 3 or 4 condition included minority race, diagnosis of other malignancy, older age, and a history of a hematopoietic stem cell transplant.

Conclusions

The majority of adverse health conditions in pediatric-aged cancer survivors are mild; however, a significant percentage will have a serious condition. Long-term follow-up with a multidisciplinary approach is essential to detect and intervene in health problems early. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2010;54:976–982 © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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