What is known?
Lung cancer is a very rare diagnosis in children. The current literature mainly comprises individual case reports, small series of specific tumours and/or studies that combine children with older patients, and thus does not provide a clear picture of childhood lung cancer.
What is new?
Of the 53 patients included in our study, the median age was 4 years old. Surgical removal of the tumour was the most common treatment (around 80% of patients), with two‐thirds also receiving chemotherapy. Five‐year survival was estimated to be 74%.
What does this mean?
Our results represent one of the largest and most complete studies of children with primary malignant lung cancers available to date. Raising awareness is important as detection of childhood lung cancer can be difficult due to the rarity of this disease and symptoms that tend to be non-specific, such as fever and persistent coughing. Further studies are required to identify possible risk factors, which at present remain largely unknown.
Contact: Danny Youlden
Reference: Youlden DR, Foresto SA, Aitken JF. Primary malignant lung tumors in children: a report from the Australian Childhood Cancer Registry, 1983-2015. Pediatric Pulmonology. 2020; 55(3):719-722.