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April 10, 1981

Status of the Curability of Childhood Cancers

Author Affiliations

Cook County Hospital Chicago

JAMA. 1981;245(14):1476. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03310390074034

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This monograph represents the published proceedings of a two-day symposium at a foremost pediatric oncology center on the curability of childhood cancer. Pediatric oncology has been the pacesetter in developments in combination and multimodality therapy, resulting in impressive cure rates. The monograph traces this phenomenon over the last decade and predicts that in another decade one of 1,000 persons reaching age 20 years will have survived cancer: an epidemic of cancer survivors! In pediatrics, metastatic disease is no longer uniformly fatal. Questions on the quality of that survival, including physical and psychological aspects and the potential for second malignancy, are addressed throughout the monograph.

The first of four principal sections covers the biologic and functional definitions of cure. The second section traces the spectacular success of solid-tumor therapy in terms of integrated chemotherapy, surgical advances, and radiation therapy along with extensive supportive modalities; the third section similarly covers the hematologic