Background: The Surveillance of Rare Cancers in Europe (RARECARE) project aims at increasing knowledge of rare cancers in Europe. This manuscript describes the epidemiology of myeloid malignancies (MMs), taking into account the morphological characterisation of these tumours.
Methods: We used data gathered by RARECARE on cancer patients diagnosed from 1995 to 2002 and archived in 64 European population-based cancer registries, followed up to 31st December 2003 or later.
Results: The overall annual crude incidence of MMs was 8.6 per 100,000. Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN) were most common, with incidence rates of 3.7 and 3.1 per 100,000 year respectively, followed by 1.8 for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative neoplasms (MD/MPN) and 0.1 for histiocytic and dendritic cell neoplasms (HDCN). The 5-year relative survival rate ranged from 18% for chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia, 19% for AML, 29% for MDS and 44% for chronic myeloid leukaemia to relatively favourable rates for MPN (62%) and HDCN (83%). Total number of new cases of MMs in the EU27 is estimated at 43,000 annually, total number of prevalent cases (1st January 2008) at 189,000 cases.
Conclusion: MMs form a large variety of rare entities with specific characteristics. Collection of detailed information (immunophenotype, genetic abnormalities, molecular data and clinical data) and an up-to-date classification system is essential for their surveillance, especially now that more and more targeted therapies are being introduced.
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