Temporal trends in incidence of childhood cancer in Switzerland, 1985-2014.

Sommer, Grit; Schindler, Matthias; Redmond, Shelagh; Pfeiffer, Verena; Konstantinoudis, Garyfallos; Ammann, Roland A; Ansari, Marc; Hengartner, Heinz; Michel, Gisela; Kuehni, Claudia E (2019). Temporal trends in incidence of childhood cancer in Switzerland, 1985-2014. Cancer epidemiology, 61, pp. 157-164. Elsevier 10.1016/j.canep.2019.06.002

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Incidence of childhood cancer increased in most countries worldwide, but reasons are unclear. This study investigates trends of childhood cancer incidence in Switzerland from 1985 to 2014.


We extracted data on all childhood cancer cases diagnosed at ages 0-14 years in Switzerland from the Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry. We included ICCC-3 main groups I-XII and calculated age-standardised, cumulative, and age-specific incidence for different diagnostic groups. We analysed trends of annual age-standardised incidence using JoinPoint regression models.


Over the study period from 1985 to 2014, 5104 of 5486 cancer diagnoses (93%) were microscopically verified. The proportion of children treated in paediatric cancer centres increased from 84% during 1985-1994 to 93% in 1995-2004 and 98% in 2005-2014 (p < 0.001). Using the World standard population, age-standardised incidence was 143 in 1985-1994, 154 in 1995-2004, and 162 per million in 2005-2014. Incidence increased by 0.7% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.5; 1.0) per year for all cancers from 1985 to 2014, 0.8% (95% CI 0.2%-1.4%) for leukaemias over the same period, 3.0% (95% CI 0.2%-1.4%) for CNS tumours during 1985-2002, and 3.8% (95% CI 1.7%-6.0%) for epithelial neoplasms and melanomas over the period 1985-2014.


Trends in incidence were driven mostly by increases among leukaemias and CNS tumours. For CNS tumours, observed trends may be explained at least partially by diagnostic changes and improved registration. For leukaemias, rising incidence may be real and due to risk factors that experience similar increases in trends.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine > Endocrinology/Metabolic Disorders
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > Unit Childrens Hospital > Forschungsgruppe Endokrinologie / Diabetologie / Metabolik (Pädiatrie)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

Sommer, Grit, Schindler, Matthias, Redmond, Shelagh, Pfeiffer, Verena, Konstantinoudis, Garyfallos, Ammann, Roland, Kühni, Claudia


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services






[4] Swiss National Science Foundation




Anette van Dorland

Date Deposited:

18 Jul 2019 10:06

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Additional Information:

Sommer and Schindler contributed equally to this work.

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Epidemiology Infant Neoplasms Population-based study Registry





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