Characteristics of responders to a request for a buccal cell specimen among survivors of childhood cancer and their siblings

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2010 Jul 15;55(1):165-70. doi: 10.1002/pbc.22513.


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.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mouth Mucosa / pathology*
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Siblings*
  • Specimen Handling
  • Survivors*