Each year there are
35,000 new cases
of cancer in children and adolescents in Europe
(15,000 in children below the age of 15 years and 20,000 in those aged 15-24).
1 out of 300 new-borns will develop cancer before turning 20.
80% are disease-free after 5 years from diagnosis, thanks to the currently available
Today there are approximately
300,000 EU citizens surviving a childhood cancer.
In 2020, they will be nearly half a million;
Two-thirds of survivors have late side effects of treatment, which are severe and
impact on the daily life of half of those affected;
Beyond 5 years from diagnosis, disease-free survivors have higher mortality
rates than their non-affected peers.
6,000 young people die each year of cancer
Despite improving survival rates, cancer is still the first cause of death by disease beyond
one year of age in the EU.
Cancers in children differ from cancers in adults. The most frequent childhood cancers
are leukaemias, tumours of the central nervous system (CNS), lymphomas and neuroblas-
tomas. They occur from birth to adolescence, with 35% of the typical childhood cancers
occurring before the age of five years.
Considering epidemiology and outcomes, there are three main groups of paediatric cancers:
Those with a good prognosis
(with a higher than 85% chance of survival after five
years) under current standard multidisciplinary treatments, using cytotoxic drugs
in often an intensive mode (acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, lymphomas,
retinoblastoma and renal tumours). Over the last five years, the survival rates have
plateaued for patients suffering from these malignancies, while treatment intensity
has been reduced for some patients in order to decrease the risk of long-term
Cancer in young
people in Europe
Paediatric cancer is still a major public health issue, despite high survival rates
compared to adult cancers
Figure 1 : Proportion of the 12 main tumour
groups in children and adolescents in Europe 
THE SIOPE STRATEGIC PLAN