Britain´s survival rates for the most common forms of children´s cancer now match those of the US, universally acknowledged as the gold standard, according to figures published in a book to mark the UKCCSG (UK Children´s Cancer Study Group) 25th Anniversary.
There are at least 25,000 people alive in Britain who have been successfully treated for the disease
Experts from Cancer Research UK say there are at least 25,000 people alive in Britain who have been successfully treated for the disease. They believe the success can be attributed to nationwide collaborations spearheaded by the country´s network of specialists - the UKCCSG.
Survival for acute lymphoid leukaemia, the most common form of cancer in children, is now 81 per cent, just behind the US figure of 85 per cent. And for Hodgkin´s disease, a type of lymphoma, survival in Britain is 97 per cent, ahead of the US rate of 94 per cent.
But while survival for the commoner children´s cancers is very similar to Britain´s, the US is doing better in treatments for some of the rarer forms of the disease. This is reflected in a survival rate for childhood cancers in general of 77 per cent, compared with Britain´s rate of 72 per cent. Cancer Research UK, in its role as the major funder of the UKCCSG, is now supporting a series of Europe-wide trials to focus on rarer forms of the disease.