Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer (CC). Advances in diagnoses and treatment of such cancers have resulted in increases in survival rates, yet about 25% of affected children still die from the disease whilst the impact on survivors extends into adolescence and adulthood. Apart from a limited subset of cases that can be attributed to inherited genetic syndromes or exposure to ionizing radiation, the causes of childhood cancer remain elusive despite decades of research.
Evidence from retrospective epidemiological studies suggests that environmental ‘exposures’ including pesticides, herbicides, infectious agents, paternal smoking, and maternal folic acid intake, may influence the risk of developing childhood cancer. This study responds to the need for prospective exposure data from cohort studies and analysis of biospecimens to assess exposures such as these, which might be preventable causes of childhood cancer. "The analysis of these biospecimens using the extensive ‘omics’ methodologies now available presents new opportunities for taking a ‘leap forward’ in understanding early life exposures and predictors of disease risk in childhood" says Julie Torode Director of Advocacy and Programmes at UICC.
The International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium
UICC strongly supports this study led by USA National Institutes of Health (the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Countries currently participating in the study are the USA, Australia, United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, China, Japan, Israel, France, Brazil. UICC President Elect and paediatric oncologist Professor Kutluk states “The UICC welcomes this important longitudinal study that has the potential to make a major contribution to advancing understanding of childhood cancer".
For further information about the study, please click here.