Childhood cancer survival in Switzerland (1976-2013): Time-trends and predictors.

Schindler, Matthias; Belle, Fabiën N; Grotzer, Michael A; von der Weid, Nicolas X; Kuehni, Claudia E (2017). Childhood cancer survival in Switzerland (1976-2013): Time-trends and predictors. International journal of cancer, 140(1), pp. 62-74. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1002/ijc.30434

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Population-based studies on childhood cancer survival are key to monitor progress against cancer and to detect potential differences between regions and other subgroups in the population. We investigated time trends and factors associated with childhood cancer survival on a national level in Switzerland, from 1976 to 2013. We extracted data from the population-based Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry of 5,776 children (age 0-14 years) diagnosed with cancer from 1985 to 2014 in Switzerland. We calculated age-adjusted 5-year survival, defined the annual reduction in risk of death (ARR), and explored associations of survival with clinical and demographic factors. Overall, 5-year survival improved significantly, from 64% in 1976-1983 to 88% in 2004-2013. ARR over the whole period was 4% for all diagnostic groups, greatest for Hodgkin lymphomas (8%), ependymomas (6%), Burkitt's lymphomas (6%) and germ cell tumours (6%). Children treated in hospitals without specialised paediatric cancer centre for leukaemia (HR 12.9), lymphoma (HR 5.0) and neuroblastoma (HR 3.7) were at higher risk of death. In French-speaking Switzerland, risk of death was lower for lymphoma (HR 0.6), CNS tumours (HR 0.7) and neuroblastoma (HR 0.5). Children with migration background had a higher risk of death from all tumours except bone tumours. Childhood cancer survival significantly improved from 1976 to 2013, but there is room for further improvement. Survival rates varied by type of clinical treatment, language region and nationality. All paediatric cancer patients should be referred to a specialised paediatric cancer centre. Further research is needed to intervene and completely eliminate inequalities in survival.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Schindler, Matthias; Belle, Fabiën and Kühni, Claudia


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








Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

23 Nov 2016 08:47

Last Modified:

11 Sep 2017 10:00

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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