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Epidemiology

Childhood cancer research in Oxford II: The Childhood Cancer Research Group

British Journal of Cancervolume 119pages763770 (2018) | Download Citation

Abstract

Background

We summarise the work of the Childhood Cancer Research Group, particularly in relation to the UK National Registry of Childhood Tumours (NRCT).

Methods

The Group was responsible for setting up and maintaining the NRCT. This registry was based on notifications from regional cancer registries, specialist children’s tumour registries, paediatric oncologists and clinical trials organisers. For a large sample of cases, data on controls matched by date and place of birth were also collected.

Results

Significant achievements of the Group include: studies of aetiology and of genetic epidemiology; proposals for, and participation in, international comparative studies of these diseases and on a classification system specifically for childhood cancer; the initial development of, and major contributions to, follow-up studies of the health of long-term survivors; the enhancement of cancer registration records by the addition of clinical data and of birth records. The Group made substantial contributions to the UK government’s Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment.

Conclusion

An important part of the ethos of the Group was to work in collaboration with many other organisations and individuals, both nationally and internationally: many of the Group’s achievements described here were the result of such collaborations.

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Acknowledgements

The work of the Childhood Cancer Research Group involved collaboration over a 40-year period with many colleagues in the UK and abroad. There are far too many to list individually, but we would like to record our thanks to them all. In particular, we acknowledge the work of colleagues in the CCRG and elsewhere who wrote many scientific papers, not all of which are mentioned here, though they are included in the list on the journal website (http://www.nature.com/bjc). Authors from the CCRG included Anita Bayne, Pat Brownbill, Nicole Diggens, Liz Eatock, Mike Hawkins, Tom Keegan, Mary Kroll, Angela MacCarthy, Kate O’Neill, Jane Passmore, Anjali Shah and Tim Vincent. Equally we acknowledge and thank all those CCRG staff who contributed to the work of the Group by their meticulous clerical, secretarial and IT skills.

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Affiliations

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

    • Gerald J. Draper
    •  & John F. Bithell
  2. National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Oxford, OX3 7LF, UK

    • Kathryn J. Bunch
  3. Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Richard Doll Building, Old Road Campus, Oxford, OX3 7LF, UK

    • Gerald M. Kendall
  4. Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, OX3 9DU, UK

    • Michael F. G. Murphy
  5. National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service, Public Health England, Chancellor Court, Oxford Business Park South, Oxford, OX4 2GX, UK

    • Charles A. Stiller

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Contributions

All authors are aware of and agree to the submission and all have contributed to the work described sufficiently to be named as authors, having written some sections, and provided information resulting from their knowledge of the field of childhood cancer and of specific publications.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Funding

No funding bodies were involved in the writing of this paper. We wish however to acknowledge, and express our gratitude for, the support of many organisations for the work of the CCRG. The work of the CCRG was supported by the Department of Health for England and Wales and the Scottish Government. Funding also came from Children with Cancer UK, Cancer Research UK, the Leukaemia Research Fund, the Kay Kendall Leukaemia Research Fund, the Health and Safety Executive, the National Cancer Institute (USA), the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust, the NHS Executive National Cancer Research and Development Programme, the National Cancer Intelligence Network, and the UKCCSG/CCLG.

Consent for publication

Where necessary, employers are aware of the submission of this paper and agree to it.

Data availability

This paper did not involve any new collection or analyses of data. Much of the work described was based on the UK National Registry of Childhood Tumours. Our hope is that these data will be available for future analyses. This is discussed in the section “Research Resources” above.

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 Gerald J. Draper.

Electronic supplementary material

  1. Supplementary information is available for this paper at https://doi.org/10.1038/s41416-018-0181-z. This is a file of CCRG Publications on Childhood Cancer Research

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https://doi.org/10.1038/s41416-018-0181-z

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