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Cancer Incidence and Survival Among Children and Adolescents in Israel During the Years 1998 to 2007

Rabinowicz, Ron MD; Barchana, Micha MD; Liphshiz, Irena MD; Futerman, Boris MSc; Linn, Shai MD, DrPH; Weyl-Ben-Arush, Myriam MD

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: August 2012 - Volume 34 - Issue 6 - p 421–429
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0b013e31826157ce
Original Articles

Our goal was to describe childhood cancer incidence and survival in Israel and to identify demographic and epidemiologic variations among children and adolescents with cancer. We used data from the Israel National Cancer Registry to examine the incidence and survival of pediatric cancer in Israeli children aged 0 to 19 years, diagnosed during the years 1998 to 2007. Cases were analyzed according to sex, age, ethnicity, and geographic region. Among the 4255 cases of childhood cancer, there was a total age-adjusted incidence rate of 172.4 per million for children aged 0 to 19 years and 153.4 per million for children aged 0 to 14 years. The incidence rate for boys was higher than for girls (192.5 and 153.3, respectively) and higher for Jewish children than for Arab children (177.6 and 156.8, respectively). The largest groups were leukemias (22%), lymphomas (20.2%), and central nervous system tumors (17.4%). The number of new cases increased each year, but the incidence rate remained steady. The survival probability updated to December 2008 was estimated and the 5-year survival was calculated for the new cases until the end of 2003. The overall survival at 5 years was 80.8%, with 72.8% for the Arabic population and 83.2% for the Jewish population, and depended on the diagnosis. Incidence and survival in childhood cancer in Israel is at the same medium level compared with other parts of the world. This study may set the basis for investigating the genetic and environmental factors that cause pediatric cancer in Israel, delineating the genetic basis for ethnic origin disparities in survival.

*Faculty of Medicine, Technion

School of Public Health, University of Haifa

§Epidemiology Unit

Department of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, Meyer Children’s Hospital, Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa

Israel National Cancer Registry, Jerusalem, Israel

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Myriam W. Ben-Arush, MD, Department of Pediatric Hematology Oncology, Meyer Children’s Hospital, Rambam Health Care Campus, P.O. Box 9602, Haifa 31096, Israel (e-mail:

Received July 19, 2011

Accepted April 28, 2012

Copyright © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.