Clusters and clustering of childhood cancer: a review

Eur J Epidemiol. 1999 Oct;15(9):847-52. doi: 10.1023/a:1007574016008.


Methodological considerations in the study of clusters and clustering of childhood cancer are reviewed briefly. A selection of 11 studies of individual clusters of childhood leukaemia which are either particularly notable or recent and have been reported in peer review journals is then considered. Focus is placed on sources of alerts, descriptive studies, field-work studies, conclusions and communication management. Some of these studies are probably essential but they are unlikely to yield firm conclusions; studies of large data sets are recommended. No causal factor has been identified which can explain a single cluster of childhood leukaemia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cluster Analysis*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leukemia / epidemiology*
  • Leukemia / etiology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / epidemiology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / etiology*
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Population Surveillance
  • Power Plants
  • Water Pollution / adverse effects