Long-term adverse outcomes in survivors of childhood bone sarcoma : the British Childhood Cancer Survivor Study

M M Fidler, C Frobisher, J Guha, K Wong, J Kelly, D L Winter, E Sugden, R Duncan, J Whelan, R C Reulen, M M Hawkins

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With improved survival, more bone sarcoma survivors are approaching middle age making it crucial to investigate the late effects of their cancer and its treatment. We investigated the long-term risks of adverse outcomes among 5-year bone sarcoma survivors within the British Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.
Cause-specific mortality and risk of subsequent primary neoplasms (SPNs) were investigated for 664 bone sarcoma survivors. Use of health services, health and marital status, alcohol and smoking habits, and educational qualifications were investigated for survivors who completed a questionnaire.
Survivors were seven times more likely to experience all-cause mortality than expected, and there were substantial differences in risk depending on tumour type. Beyond 25 years follow-up the risk of dying from all-causes was comparable to the general population. This is in contrast to dying before 25 years where the risk was 12.7-fold that expected. Survivors were also four times more likely to develop a SPN than expected, where the excess was restricted to 5-24 years post diagnosis. Increased health-care usage and poor health status were also found. Nonetheless, for some psychosocial outcomes survivors were better off than expected.
Up to 25 years after 5-year survival, bone sarcoma survivors are at substantial risk of death and SPNs, but this is greatly reduced thereafter. As 95% of all excess deaths before 25 years follow-up were due to recurrences and SPNs, increased monitoring of survivors could prevent mortality. Furthermore, bone and breast SPNs should be a particular concern. Since there are variations in the magnitude of excess risk depending on the specific adverse outcome under investigation and whether the survivors were initially diagnosed with osteosarcoma or Ewing sarcoma, risks need to be assessed in relation to these factors. These findings should provide useful evidence for risk stratification and updating clinical follow-up guidelines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1857-1865
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number12
Early online date19 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jun 2015


  • childhood cancer
  • bone sarcoma
  • long-term outcomes
  • Ewing sarcoma
  • osteosarcoma
  • bone cancer
  • paediatric cancer
  • late effects


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