Incidence and survival of children with central nervous system primitive tumors in the French National Registry of Childhood Solid Tumors

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Central nervous system (CNS) tumors are the second most common childhood malignancy. The French National Registry of Childhood Solid Tumors (NRCST) makes it possible to describe this variety of distinct tumor types and to provide incidence and survival data in France on a nationwide basis.


All children aged 0–14 years, who were registered with a primary CNS tumor in the NRCST of France between 2000 and 2008, were identified. Tumors were classified according to the International Classification of Childhood Cancer, third edition.


Approximately 57% of pediatric CNS tumors were gliomas, with astrocytomas of the pilocytic type predominating. Distributions of subtypes by age showed that primitive neuroectodermal tumors and ependymomas mainly occurred in children aged <5 years. The mean annual incidence rate of CNS tumors was 39 per million. No statistically significant change in time trends of incidence rate was observed during 2000–2008. For all tumors combined, overall survival was 84.8% (95% CI, 83.7%–85.9%) at 1 year and 72.9% (95% CI, 71.5%–74.3%) at 5 years. Survival time trends were studied in a multivariate analysis observing a reduction in the risk of death in periods of diagnosis 2003–2005 (HR = 0.8; 95% CI, 0.7–0.9) and 2006–2008 (HR = 0.7; 95% CI, 0.6–0.9) compared with 2000–2002.


The stable incidence rates during the last 10 years could indicate that major changes in environmental risk factors are unlikely, but the ongoing need for population-based surveillance remains relevant. Results indicate a positive trend in the survival probability still persistent in the 2000s.

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