Background: Pediatric cancer survivors who were treated before routine hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening of blood donors in 1992 have an elevated risk of transfusion-acquired HCV.
Methods: To assess long-term pediatric cancer survivors' knowledge of HCV testing and blood transfusion history, a questionnaire was administered to 9242 participants in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study who are at risk for transfusion-acquired HCV after cancer therapy from 1970 to 1986.
Results: More than 70% of survivors reported either no prior HCV testing (41%) or uncertainty about testing (31%), with only 29% reporting prior testing. One half recalled having a treatment-related blood transfusion; those who recalled a transfusion were more likely to report HCV testing (39%) than those who did not (18%) or were unsure (20%). In multivariate models, survivors who reported no prior HCV testing were more likely to be older (odds ratio [OR] per 5-year increase, 1.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0-1.1) and to report no care at a cancer center within the past 2 years (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.0-1.4), no cancer treatment summary (OR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.2-1.5), and no transfusions (OR, 2.6; 95% CI, 2.3-3.0) or uncertainty about transfusions (OR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.9-2.6), and less likely to be racial/ethnic minorities (OR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.8-1.0) or survivors of acute myeloid leukemia (OR, 0.7; 95% CI, 0.5-1.0).
Conclusions: Many pediatric cancer survivors at risk for transfusion-acquired HCV are unaware of their transfusion history and prior testing for HCV and would benefit from programs to increase HCV knowledge and screening.