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The Lancet Oncology: Differences in treatment likely to be behind differing survival rates for blood cancers between regions within Europe
Date:7/13/2014

Failure to get the best treatment and variations in the quality of care are the most likely reasons why survival for blood cancer patients still varies widely between regions within Europe, according to the largest population-based study of survival in European adults to date, published in The Lancet Oncology.

"The good news is that 5-year survival for most cancers of the blood has increased over the past 11 years, most likely reflecting the approval of new targeted drugs in the early 2000s such as rituximab for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and imatinib for chronic myeloid leukaemia", explains study leader Dr Milena Sant from the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori in Milan, Italy.*

"But there continue to be persistent differences between regions. For example, the uptake and use of new technologies and effective treatments has been far slower in eastern Europe than other regions. This might have contributed to the large differences in the management and outcomes of patients."*

The EUROCARE study analysed data from 30 cancer registries** covering all patients diagnosed in 20 European countries to compare changes in 5-year survival for more than 560 400 adults (aged 15 years and older) diagnosed with 11 lymphoid and myeloid cancers between 1997 and 2008, and followed up to the end of 2008.

Some blood cancers have shown particularly large increases in survival between 1997 and 2008eg, follicular lymphoma (59% to 74%), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (42% to 55%), chronic myeloid leukaemia (32% to 54%), and acute promyelocytic leukaemia (50% to 62%).

The greatest improvements in survival during 1997� have been in northern, central, and eastern Europe, even though adults in eastern Europe (where survival in 1997 was the lowest) continue to have lower survival for most blood cancers than elsewhere.

But survival gains have been lower in southern Europe and the UK. For example, improvements in 5-year
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Contact: Dr. Milena Sant
milena.sant@istitutotumori.mi.it
39-022-390-3519
The Lancet
Source:Eurekalert

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