Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 146  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 216-223

Late effects of treatment in survivors of childhood cancers: A single-centre experience

1 Department of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr Rachna Seth
Department of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_196_16

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Background & objectives: With improved survival of childhood cancer patients, the number of long-term cancer survivors is increasing. Some studies have assessed the long-term morbidity after childhood cancer treatment in the developing countries. This study was conducted to assess the spectrum of late effects of cancer treatment in paediatric cancer survivors. Methods: Evaluation of the first 300 patients who completed five years of follow up in the after treatment completion clinic was done. Details of primary diagnosis, treatment received and current clinical status were noted. The spectrum of late effects was ascertained by appropriate investigations. Results: Haematological malignancies comprised 25 per cent of total cases. Most common primary diagnosis comprised acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, retinoblastoma and Hodgkin's lymphoma. The median age at evaluation and follow up was 14 and 8.5 yr, respectively. Twenty three per cent (69) of the survivors had a minimal disability (growth retardation or underweight), 13 per cent (39) had moderate disabilities needing medical attention (hepatitis B surface antigen positive, myocardial dysfunction, azoospermia and hypothyroidism), while two per cent had major/life-threatening disabilities (mental retardation, liver disease and mortality). Eleven patients relapsed on follow up, of those five patients expired. Two second malignancies were recorded during the period of follow up. Interpretation & conclusions: Late effects were of concern; however, severe disability (Grade 3-5) was seen in only two per cent survivors. Lifelong follow up of childhood cancer survivors is required to assess cancer-related morbidity, occurrence of a secondary neoplasm, to facilitate timely diagnosis and to implement remedial or preventive interventions to optimize health outcomes. Awareness towards the existence of late effects of cancer therapy is required among parents, patients and health professionals.

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