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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Childhood Cancer Survivors

Investigators in the Radiation Epidemiology Branch have been collaborating with extramural investigators on case-control studies of secondary glioma, meningioma, and thyroid, breast, soft tissue, bone, and skin cancers among more than 14,000 five-year survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed between 1970 and 1986. A strong radiation dose-response relationship for glioma and meningioma was noted over a wide range of doses, up to 50 Gy. A strong relation of thyroid cancer to radiation, and risk increased with dose through doses of 15 to 20 Gy but decreased at higher doses. A study of breast cancer among members of the cohort indicated an association with chest irradiation and a personal or family history of bone or soft tissue sarcoma. 

CCSS is enrolling a new cohort of childhood cancer survivors diagnosed 1987-99 in order to investigate the effects of newer treatments and this will increase the number of second cancers available for study. Genomic DNA and samples of tumor tissue for second cancers are being collected, thereby affording opportunities for molecular epidemiologic studies. Childhood cancer survivor study details are available at

For more information, contact Lindsay Morton.