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Access to specialized pediatric cancer care in Switzerland


Adam, M; von der Weid, N; Michel, G; Zwahlen, M; Lutz, J M; Probst-Hensch, N; Niggli, F; Kuehni, C (2010). Access to specialized pediatric cancer care in Switzerland. Pediatric Blood & Cancer, 54(5):721-727.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Specialized pediatric cancer centers (PCCs) are thought to be essential to obtain state-of-the-art care for children and adolescents. We determined the proportion of childhood cancer patients not treated in a PCC, and described their characteristics and place of treatment.

PROCEDURE: The Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry (SCCR) registers all children treated in Swiss PCCs. The regional cancer registries (covering 14/26 cantons) register all cancer patients of a region. The children of the SCCR with data from 7 regions (11 cantons) were compared, using specialized software for record linkage. All children <16 years of age at diagnosis with primary malignant tumors, diagnosed between 1990 and 2004, and living in one of these regions were included in the analysis.

RESULTS: 22.1% (238/1,077) of patients recorded in regional registries were not registered in the SCCR. Of these, 15.7% (169/1,077) had never been in a PCC while 6.4% (69/1,077) had been in a PCC but were not registered in the SCCR, due to incomplete data flow. In all diagnostic groups and in all age groups, a certain proportion of children was treated outside a PCC, but this proportion was largest in children suffering from malignant bone tumors/soft tissue sarcomas and from malignant epithelial neoplasms, and in older children. The proportion of patients treated in a PCC increased over the study period (P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: One in six childhood cancer patients in Switzerland was not treated in a PCC. Whether these patients have different treatment outcomes remained unclear.

BACKGROUND: Specialized pediatric cancer centers (PCCs) are thought to be essential to obtain state-of-the-art care for children and adolescents. We determined the proportion of childhood cancer patients not treated in a PCC, and described their characteristics and place of treatment.

PROCEDURE: The Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry (SCCR) registers all children treated in Swiss PCCs. The regional cancer registries (covering 14/26 cantons) register all cancer patients of a region. The children of the SCCR with data from 7 regions (11 cantons) were compared, using specialized software for record linkage. All children <16 years of age at diagnosis with primary malignant tumors, diagnosed between 1990 and 2004, and living in one of these regions were included in the analysis.

RESULTS: 22.1% (238/1,077) of patients recorded in regional registries were not registered in the SCCR. Of these, 15.7% (169/1,077) had never been in a PCC while 6.4% (69/1,077) had been in a PCC but were not registered in the SCCR, due to incomplete data flow. In all diagnostic groups and in all age groups, a certain proportion of children was treated outside a PCC, but this proportion was largest in children suffering from malignant bone tumors/soft tissue sarcomas and from malignant epithelial neoplasms, and in older children. The proportion of patients treated in a PCC increased over the study period (P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: One in six childhood cancer patients in Switzerland was not treated in a PCC. Whether these patients have different treatment outcomes remained unclear.

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6 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Surgical Pathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:14 Jan 2011 19:04
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:28
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:1545-5009
Publisher DOI:10.1002/pbc.22426
PubMed ID:20108340
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-40127

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