Health status of young children with cancer following discontinuation of therapy

G. Pastore, M. G. Zurlo, A. Acquaviva, G. Calculli, M. Castello, A. Ceci, M. L. Di Tullio, S. Gandus, P. Macchia, L. Cordero Di Montezemolo, F. Mandelli, F. Massolo, L. Nespoli, G. Paolucci, M. Rosate, E. Senesi, P. Tamaro, U. Tripoli, B. Terracini

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This paper reports late effects and health status of 198 children who had cancer or leukemia diagnosed under 2 years of age and their therapies electively withdrawn. This series (92 neuroblastoma [NBL], 57 Wilms' tumor [WT], 46 acute lymphoblastic leukemia [ALL], and 3 non‐Hodgkin's lymphomal was followed for 1‐12 years after discontinuation of therapy. Thirty‐three children were diagnosed before 1973, 92 between 1973 and 1977, and 73 after 1977 in 16 Italian Pediatric Oncology Centers. As of December 1983, 176 children were reported to be alive and without evidence of primary cancer by physicians responsible for their care. One child died from a second primary tumor, two from late recurrences of the primary cancer, and three from other causes; eight were alive with evidence of primary cancer; and eight were lost to follow‐up. Kyphoscoliosis was found in 22 children and other musculoskeletal anomalies in 8. Neurological sequelae were observed in 8 out 35 children with ALL treated with radiotherapy (RT) and intrathecal methotrexate. All but one were in continous complete remission when they developed seizures (three cases), leukoencephalopathy (three cases), or intracerebral calcitications (two cases). One child had cardiomyopathy and subsequently died from cardiac failure: he had received doxorubicin (400 mg/m2) and mediastinal RT (13 Gy) for NBL. Growth impairments were observed in children with NBL and WT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalMedical and Pediatric Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1987


  • acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • childhood cancer
  • late effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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