[The contribution of the Italian Association of paediatric haematology and oncology (AIEOP)].

Epidemiol Prev 2016 Sep-Oct;40(5Suppl2):23-27

UO Pediatria, Azienda ospedaliero-universitaria di Bologna, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna.

Since 1972, children affected by cancer took advantage from multi-centric diagnostic and therapeutic protocols produced by the Italian Association of paediatric haematology and oncology (AIEOP). At the beginning, these protocols were used in few well-trained centres, later in almost all Italian haemato-oncological centres. The need of a careful monitoring of his own activity induced AIEOP to achieve, in 1989, an Italian hospital- based registry (database Mod.1.01) of malignant tumours diagnosed and treated in the participating centres, with the aim to quantify the number of cases diagnosed and treated in the different centres, the agreement (or not) to official diagnostic- therapeutic protocols, and the extraregional migration. The database Mod.1.01, which is available via web to the current 55 AIEOP centres since 2000, recruits annually about 1,400 children (0-14 years) and 200 adolescents (15-19 years). While the first accounts for over 90% of expected subjects, the latter are only 25%. Leukaemias (30% of cases) are the most frequent childhood cancers, followed by central nervous system (CNS) tumours and lymphomas, 18% of cases both. In children, leukaemias (34%) are prevalent, mostly acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (26%), followed by CNS tumours (18%); in adolescents, lymphomas (30%) are prevalent, mostly Hodgkin lymphomas (22%), followed by bone sarcomas (16%). The recruitment of registered cases in AIEOP protocols is overall good both for children (70%) and for adolescents (60%), achieving outstanding results in leukaemia protocols. Extraregional migration of patients for diagnosis and therapy is decreasing over time, being currently about 20%, higher in adolescents, in solid tumours, and in residents in South Italy and in the islands. On the contrary, an increase of subjects born and resident abroad who are hospitalised in AIEOP centres for diagnosis and treatment, accounting at present for 5% of all cases, was observed. The results confirm that the database Mod.1.01 can be a valid tool able to contribute to epidemiologic research on childhood cancer in Italy.

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December 2017
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