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Incidence trends of childhood central nervous system tumors in Finland 1990–2017

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Incidence trends of childhood central nervous system tumors in Finland 1990–2017

Introduction: Central nervous system (CNS) tumors are a leading cause of cancer-related morbidity and mortality in children. Our aim is to characterize incidence trends of pediatric CNS tumors in Finland over the last three decades. Methods: Data on all benign and malignant incident CNS tumors diagnosed in children aged 0–14 years in 1990–2017 were extracted from the Finnish Cancer Registry and classified according to the 2016 WHO classification of CNS tumors. We analyzed age-standardized incidence rates (ASR) for pediatric CNS tumors overall and by sex, age, tumor histology, grade, and location using Poisson regression. We used joinpoint regression to evaluate changes in trends. Results: Overall, 1117 pediatric CNS tumor cases were registered in Finland with a 1.2:1 male to female ratio. The average annual ASR was 4.3 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI 4.26, 4.34). The most common tumor type was pilocytic astrocytoma (30% of tumors), followed by medulloblastoma (10%) with incidence rates of 1.30 and 0.45 per 100,000 person-years, respectively. The overall incidence of pediatric CNS tumors increased by an annual percentage change (APC) of 0.8% (95% CI 0.2, 1.4). We observed no major changes in incidence trends of tumor histology groups or tumor location groups. The ASR of benign tumors increased by an APC of 1.0 (95% CI 0.1, 2.0). Conclusions: Utilizing the high-quality and completeness of data in the Finnish Cancer registry, we found that the incidence of pediatric CNS tumors in Finland has increased slightly from 1990 until 2017. Although variations in diagnostic and registration practices over time might have affected the rates, the trend may also reflect a true increase in incidence.

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