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International benchmarking of childhood cancer survival by stage at diagnosis: The BENCHISTA project protocol

Botta, Laura; Gatta, Gemma; Didonè, Fabio; Lopez Cortes, Angela; Pritchard-Jones, Kathy; BENCHISTA Project Working Group; (2022) International benchmarking of childhood cancer survival by stage at diagnosis: The BENCHISTA project protocol. PLOS One , 17 (11) , Article e0276997. 10.1371/journal.pone.0276997. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Several studies have shown significant variation in overall survival rates from childhood cancer between countries, using population-based cancer registry (PBCR) data for all cancers combined and for many individual tumour types among children. Without accurate and comparable data on Tumour stage at diagnosis, it is difficult to define the reasons for these survival differences. This is because measurement systems designed for adult cancers do not apply to children's cancers and cancer registries often hold limited information on paediatric tumour stage and the data sources used to define it. AIMS: The BENCHISTA project aims to test the application of the international consensus "Toronto Staging Guidelines" (TG) for paediatric tumours by European and non-European PBCRs for six common paediatric solid tumours so that reliable comparisons of stage at diagnosis and survival rates by stage can be made to understand any differences. A secondary aim is to test the data availability and completeness of collection of several 'Toronto' consensus non-stage prognostic factors, treatment types given, occurrence of relapse/progression and cause of death as a descriptive feasibility study. METHODS: PBCRs will use their permitted data access channels to apply the Toronto staging guidelines to all incident cases of six solid childhood cancers (medulloblastoma, osteosarcoma, Ewings sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma and Wilms tumour) diagnosed in a consecutive three-year period within 2014-2017 in their population. Each registry will provide a de-identified patient-level dataset including tumour stage at diagnosis, with only the contributing registry holding the information that would be needed to re-identify the patients. Where available to the registry, patient-level data on 'Toronto' non-stage prognostic factors, treatments given and clinical outcomes (relapse/progression/cause of death) will be included. More than 60 PBCRs have been involved in defining the patient-level dataset items and intend to participate by contributing their population-level data. Tumour-specific on-line training workshops with clinical experts are available to cancer registry staff to assist them in applying the Toronto staging guidelines in a consistent manner. There is also a project-specific help desk for discussion of difficult cases and promotion of the CanStaging online tools, developed through the International Association of Cancer Registries, to further ensure standardisation of data collection. Country-specific stage distribution and observed survival by stage at diagnosis will be calculated for each tumour type to compare survival between countries or large geographical regions. DISCUSSION: This study will be promote and enhance the collection of standardized staging data for childhood cancer by European and non-European population-based cancer registries. Therefore, this project can be seen as a feasibility project of widespread use of Toronto Staging at a population-level by cancer registries, specifying the data sources used and testing how well standardized the processes can be. Variation in tumour stage distribution could be due to real differences, to different diagnostic practices between countries and/or to variability in how cancer registries assign Toronto stage. This work also aims to strengthen working relationships between cancer registries, clinical services and cancer-specific clinical study groups, which is important for improving patient outcomes and stimulating research.

Type: Article
Title: International benchmarking of childhood cancer survival by stage at diagnosis: The BENCHISTA project protocol
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0276997
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0276997
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: BENCHISTA Project Working Group
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Developmental Biology and Cancer Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10158881
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