Research questions childhood cancer treatment

New research has found the UK's cancer treatment severely lacking, with childhood cancer survival rates lagging behind the rest of Europe.

According to researchers, children with cancer in the UK have shorter survival than their European counterparts and the study authors have therefore called on the government to invest more in children's health.

Writing in the Lancet Oncology, Alan Craft of the Institute of Child Health in Newcastle Upon Tyne and Kathy Pritchard-Jones of the Royal Marsden Hospital said that the disparity "needs to be addressed urgently".

The authors noted that the UK has no targets for children and, as a result, young people are a low priority for the NHS.

They concluded: "Suboptimum survival for childhood cancer is just one example of the worse state of children's healthcare in the UK compared with many other countries.

"The perinatal mortality rate puts the UK in 15th position in Europe and there is clear evidence that children with diabetes are [also] not receiving optimum care," they added.

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Research questions childhood cancer treatment
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