Childhood cancer survival in Ireland: temporal, regional and deprivation-related patterns

Eur J Cancer. 2011 Aug;47(12):1852-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2011.03.021. Epub 2011 Apr 27.


Survival after childhood cancer varies across Europe, but national or regional studies have so far shown no survival differences related to socio-economic disparity. The relationship of childhood cancer survival to disparity has not been studied in Ireland. We assessed observed survival for Irish children (ages 0-14 years) diagnosed with cancer during the period 1994-2005, overall (for all cancers included in the 3rd edition of the International Classification of Childhood Cancer) and for three main diagnostic groups - leukaemias, lymphomas, and central nervous system tumours. Comparisons were made between two diagnosis periods (1994-1999 and 2000-2005), between four regions of residence, and between five area-based deprivation categories. Regional patterns of treatment were examined to help assess the impact of centralisation of services. There was only limited evidence of improvements in survival over time. No clear evidence was found of deprivation-related influences on childhood cancer survival in Ireland, overall or for the three main diagnostic groups examined, although a weak trend was apparent for lymphoid leukaemias. Regional variation in survival was likewise not clear-cut, with the possible exception of CNS tumours (significantly higher survival amongst patients resident in the Western region). The absence of clear trends or patterns for regional or deprivation-related variation in survival may reflect a high degree of coordination and uniformity of treatment (and perhaps diagnostic) services, and application of standard treatment protocols nationally.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Central Nervous System Neoplasms / mortality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Leukemia / mortality
  • Lymphoma / mortality
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Poverty*
  • Registries
  • Research Design
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Time Factors