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Increased chance of developing new tumors in survivors of childhood cancer

Treatment of childhood cancer results in an increased chance of developing new tumors. During his Ph.D., Jop Teepen investigated the relation between cancer treatment and new malignant and benign tumors. ‘An important result is that survivors that were treated with a specific chemotherapy have an increased chance of developing breast cancer and sarcoma. Also, survivors who received radiotherapy have an increased chance of developing new tumors in the breasts and colon’, says Teepen. He will defend his thesis on Monday December 17th at Amsterdam UMC.

Teepen based his research, which is largely funded by KWF (Dutch Cancer Society), on the cohort study SKION-LATER, an international association for health care, information and research on the long term effects of childhood cancer.  This cohort consists of five-year survivors who were younger than 18 when treated for childhood cancer between 1963 and 2002. The results described in Teepen’s thesis show that survivors, compared to people who have not received treatment, have an increased chance to develop new tumors, both malignant and benign.  

‘These results can be used to adjust the aftercare on the LATER clinic. The LATER clinic specializes in monitoring long term effects as a result of childhood cancer treatment. If we know which patients have a higher chance to develop a new tumor, we can monitor these patients more closely. The people with a lower chance need less aftercare. A more accurate prediction of the long term effects, is very relevant for considering the treatment options’, says Teepen.

The LATER research into health problems later in life, amongst which new tumors, will be continued in the Princess Máxima Center for pediatric oncology.

Teepen will defend his thesis in Amsterdam, location VuMC, on December 17th, 1.45PM.