The British Childhood Cancer Survivor Study: Objectives, methods, population structure, response rates and initial descriptive information

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2008 May;50(5):1018-25. doi: 10.1002/pbc.21335.


Background: In Britain 75% of individuals diagnosed with childhood cancer survive at least 5 years. The British Childhood Cancer Survivor Study was established to determine the risks of adverse health and social outcomes among survivors. To be eligible individuals were diagnosed with childhood cancer in Britain between 1940 and 1991 and survived at least 5 years. The entire cohort of 17,981 form the basis of population-based studies of late mortality and the risks/causes of second malignant neoplasms using national registration systems.

Methods: A postal questionnaire was sent to survivors who were alive and aged at least 16 years via their primary care physician.

Results: Of the 14,836 survivors eligible to receive a questionnaire, 10,483 (71%) returned it completed. Of the 13,211 who were mailed a questionnaire by their primary care physician 10,483 (79%) returned it completed. Outline treatment information concerning initial radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery is available.

Conclusions: This is the largest available population-based cohort of childhood cancer survivors to have included investigation of a wide spectrum of adverse outcomes (the risk of which might be increased as a result of childhood cancer or its treatment). The study should provide useful information for counselling survivors, planning long-term clinical follow-up and evaluating the long-term risks likely to be associated with proposed treatment strategies.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Population Groups
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survival Rate
  • Survivors