Objective: To describe incidence patterns and trends in children (0-14 years) and adolescents (15-19 age-range) with solid tumours, except those of central nervous system (CNS), in Spain.
Methods: Cases were drawn from eleven Spanish population-based cancer registries. Incidence was estimated for the period 1983-2007 and trends were evaluated using Joinpoint regression analysis.
Results: The studied tumour groups accounted for 36% of total childhood cancers and 47.6% of those diagnosed in adolescence with annual rates per million of 53.5 and 89.3 respectively. In children 0 to 14 years of age, Neuroblastoma (NB) was the commonest (7.8%) followed by Soft-tissue sarcomas (STS) (6.3%), bone tumours (BT) (6.2%) and renal tumours (RT) (4.5%). NB was the most frequently diagnosed tumour before the 5th birthday, while STS and BT were the commonest at 5-9 years of age, and BT and Carcinoma and other epithelial tumours (COET) at 10-14. COET presented the highest incidence in adolescents, followed by germ-cell tumours (GCT), BT and STS. These four diagnostic groups accounted for 94% of total non-CNS solid tumours, in adolescents. Overall incidence rates increased significantly in children up to 1996 with an annual percentage change (APC) of 2.6% (95%CI: 1.7; 3.6). NB and COET showed significant time trend (APCs: 1.4% and 3.8% respectively) while other tumour groups such as RT, STS, BT or GCT had no significant changes over time. A significant increase was present in NB under the age of 5 and in BT and STS in children aged 10-14 years. In adolescents there were significant increases for all tumours combined (APC=2.7; 95%CI: 1.8-3.6) and for STS, GCT and COET (APCs: 3.2%, 4.4% and 3.5% respectively), while other tumour groups such as hepatic tumours, BT or thyroid carcinomas showed a decreasing trend or no increase.
Conclusions: Overall, the incidence of the studied cancers in children increased along the period 1983-1996 with no posterior significant rise, while the incidence in adolescents increased significantly over the whole period 1983-2007. Several specific tumour groups showed significant rises or decrements in childhood or adolescence, although the small number of cases precludes showing significant trends or inflexion points.