Analysis of Global Pediatric Cancer Research and Publications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


External organisations

  • King’s College London, Institute of Cancer Policy, Conflict and Health Research Group, School of Cancer Sciences, Guy’s Hospital, London, United Kingdom


This study sought to investigate the amount of global research activity and investment in pediatric cancer research, using publications as a proxy measure, and to understand geographical differences in research activity. To do this, we used a quantitative method—bibliometrics—to analyze Web of Science publications in the 10 years from 2007 to 2016. We found that global pediatric cancer research outputs have increased from 2,937 in 2007 to 4,513 in 2016, at an annual growth rate of 4.3%. This rate is slower than for both cancer research as a whole and general pediatric research. The increase in output was due almost entirely to China. International collaboration was similar to that in cancer research overall, with the highest levels among countries in close geographical proximity. Hematological and CNS childhood cancers are the main areas for research. Genetics and prognosis were the main research domains, and there was little work on radiotherapy or palliative care. In terms of citations, the best-performing countries were the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom. On the basis of estimates of the cost of research papers in different countries, the total world pediatric cancer research expenditure is estimated to have been 1.54 billion US dollars (USD) in 2013, and 1.79 billion USD in 2016. Our data suggest that current global policy toward pediatric cancer needs significant review and change to increase investments, balance research portfolios, and improve research that is relevant to low- and middle-income countries.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-18
JournalJCO Global Oncology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2020