What is known?
Various characteristics of a patient’s cancer are known to be important in assessing the likely prognosis, or outcome of the patient’s treatment. Cancer stage (i.e., the extent to which the cancer has spread at diagnosis) is one of the strongest of these predictors.
So-called “non-stage prognostic indicators” (NSPIs) are also important in determining the patient’s outcome, including characteristics such as the site in the body where the cancer started, the type of cancer cells involved, and the genetic makeup of the cancer.
What is new?
An international panel of experts was convened to reach a consensus on which NSPIs should be collected by population cancer registries for the major malignancies in children.
The NSPIs were classified into three categories: essential (should be readily available and collected by all registries); additional (should be considered for collection by registries with sufficient resources and data access); and new and promising (to be reconsidered for collection in the future). The panel also reviewed and updated the 2014 Toronto Paediatric Cancer Stage Guidelines.
What does this mean?
It is recommended that population cancer registries collect consistent information on NSPIs to allow for international monitoring, comparison and pooling of data on childhood cancer incidence and outcomes. The next step is to test the feasibility of collecting the recommended NSPIs in practice. This work is underway in the Australian Childhood Cancer Registry.
Contact: Joanne Aitken
Reference: Gupta S*, Aitken J*, Bartels U, …29 authors …Frazier AL. Development of paediatric non-stage prognosticator guidelines for population-based cancer registries and updates to the 2014 Toronto Paediatric Cancer Stage Guidelines. The Lancet Oncology. 2020; 21:e444-451.
*Joint first authors