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||Second cancers after medulloblastoma: population-based results from the United States and Sweden.
||Goldstein AM, Yuen J, Tucker MA
||Cancer Causes Control
||Medulloblastoma, one of the most common central nervous system (CNS) tumors in children, requires aggressive multimodality therapy including surgery, radiation therapy, and occasionally chemotherapy. Given its intensive treatment regimen and improved survival during the past 20 years, it is likely that a cohort of survivors will result who may incur consequences of therapy, including a second cancer. We used population-based data from the United States and Sweden to estimate risks of second neoplasms in patients with histologically confirmed medulloblastoma (n = 1,262). Overall, there was a 5.4-fold excess of second neoplasms (95 percent confidence interval = 3.3-8.4) based on 20 observed and 3.7 expected cancers. The second cancers occurred eight to 432 months after initial diagnosis (median, 73 months) with significantly elevated ratios for all intervals examined except for less than one year after initial diagnosis. Significantly elevated risks were seen for cancers of the salivary glands, cervix uteri, brain and CNS, thyroid gland, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Of the 15 second cancers with treatment data, seven occurred in the radiation field or within areas of scatter while two others may have been radiation-related. Although based on small numbers of second cancers, the results suggest that as survival increases, some patients with medulloblastoma will have an increased risk of a second cancer, particularly a radiation-related cancer. Thus, as survival improves, late-occurring consequences of diagnosis and treatment will need to be carefully assessed. Identification of patients hypersensitive to radiation therapy, such as those with Gorlin Syndrome, should also be attempted in order to reduce the sequelae from intensive radiation exposure.