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Keywords:

  • buccal mucosa;
  • cohort study;
  • DNA;
  • neoplasm;
  • pediatric

Abstract

Purpose

Analysis of biological samples in large cohort studies may provide insight into the mechanism of, and risk factors for, disease onset and progression.

Methods

This study describes the methods used to collect biological samples from a large multi-center cohort of childhood cancer survivors and siblings of childhood cancer survivors and evaluates the predictors of a positive response among these individuals.

Results

Among survivors, female sex, white race/ethnicity, college graduation, never smoking, accessing the healthcare system in the past 2 years, and having a second malignant neoplasm were the strongest predictors of returning a sample. Among siblings, a similar demographic profile defined those likely to submit the requested sample.

Conclusion

To reduce selection bias and increase the value of these samples for future analysis, additional phone calls and reminders targeting non-responders are needed to improve response rates among those least likely to respond to a single mailed request. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2010;55:165–170. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.