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Childhood cancer research in Oxford I: the Oxford Survey of Childhood Cancers

British Journal of Cancervolume 119pages756762 (2018) | Download Citation

Abstract

Background

Significant research on the epidemiology and natural history of childhood cancer took place in the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham over sixty years. This is the first of three papers recording this work and describes the Oxford Survey of Childhood Cancers (OSCC), the largest case-control survey of childhood cancer ever undertaken.

Methods

The OSCC studied deaths in Britain from 1953 to 1981. Parents were interviewed and medical records from ante-natal clinics and treatment centres were followed up and abstracted. The survey left Oxford in 1975 and was run subsequently from Birmingham. The data are now being documented and archived to make them available for future study.

Results

Many papers have resulted from this survey, most notably those relating to the association first reported therein between childhood cancer and ante-natal X-raying. This paper is a historical review of the OSCC.

Conclusions

In spite of many analyses of the study, this historic data set has continuing value because of the large number of examples of some very rare tumours and the detailed clinical and family history data that are available; and also because of the possibility of carrying out new analyses to investigate emerging research issues.

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Note: This work is published under the standard license to publish agreement. After 12 months the work will become freely available and the license terms will switch to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 Unported License.

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Acknowledgements

The desire to preserve this data set is driven largely by its scientific value but also by an appreciation of how much dedicated work went into the data collection, coding and analysis, not only by staff in Oxford, Limpsfield and Birmingham but also by interviewers all over Britain. The authors wish to record for posterity their appreciation of the value of this work and of the many agencies who funded it. The archiving work has been made possible by a generous grant from Children with Cancer UK and we express our appreciation and gratitude for this support.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, 24-29 St Giles’, Oxford, OX1 3LB, UK

    • JF Bithell
    •  & GJ Draper
  2. Institute of Applied Health Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK

    • T Sorahan
  3. National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, Public Health England, 4150 Chancellor Court, Oxford, OX4 2GX, UK

    • CA Stiller

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethics approval

Granted by NRES Committee South Central−Oxford B, refs 12/SC/0531 and 18/SC/0092. The subjects interviewed implicitly consented to be so.

Note

This work is published under the standard license to publish agreement. After 12 months the work will become freely available and the license terms will switch to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

Corresponding author

Correspondence to JF Bithell.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41416-018-0180-0

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