Physical performance limitations in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study cohort

J Clin Oncol. 2009 May 10;27(14):2382-9. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2008.21.1482. Epub 2009 Mar 30.


Physical performance limitations are one of the potential long-term consequences following diagnosis and treatment for childhood cancer. The purpose of this review is to describe the risk factors for and the participation restrictions that result from physical performance limitations among childhood cancer survivors who participated in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS). Articles previously published from the CCSS cohort related to physical performance limitations were reviewed and the results summarized. Our review showed that physical performance limitations are prevalent among childhood cancer survivors and may increase as they age. Host-based risk factors for physical disability include an original diagnosis of bone tumor, brain tumor, or Hodgkin's disease; female sex; and an income less than $20,000 per year. Treatment-based risk factors include radiation and treatment with a combination of alkylating agents and anthracyclines. Musculoskeletal, neurologic, cardiac, pulmonary, sensory, and endocrine organ system dysfunction also increase the risk of developing a physical performance limitation. In summary, monitoring of physical performance limitations in an aging cohort of childhood cancer survivors is important and will help determine the impact of physical performance limitations on morbidity, mortality, and caregiver burden. In addition, in developing restorative and preventive interventions for childhood cancer survivors, we must take into account the special needs of survivors with physical disability to optimize their health and enhance participation in daily living activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Athletic Performance / statistics & numerical data
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnosis-Related Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Lung Diseases / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mobility Limitation*
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Neoplasms / rehabilitation*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Class
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult


  • Antineoplastic Agents