CCR Innovations | Volume 2 | Issue 1 - page 3

California Cancer Registry
Volume 3, Issue 1
were to provide current informaƟon on the trends in childhood leukemia incidence in California and 
compare what is happening in our state to what is happening naƟonally.  Second, given the large 
Hispanic populaƟon in California, we aimed to provide an in‐depth analysis of the differences in 
childhood leukemia incidence among non‐Hispanic white and Hispanic children. 
We found that the incidence of Acute LymphocycƟc Leukemia (ALL) significantly increased among 
California children aged one to 14 years by 1.2 percent per year between 1988 and 2010.  When  ALL 
incidence was  straƟfied by age at diagnosis, gender, and ethnicity, significant increases in ALL 
incidence were also observed among males, females, children aged one to four years, children aged 5 
to 14 years, and Hispanics.  These findings are similar to trends published for the U.S. as a whole.  A 
noteworthy and novel finding of our study was that ALL incidence among Hispanic female children 
increased more rapidly during the study period than among Hispanic male children (Figure 1).  If this 
trend conƟnues, the incidence of ALL among Hispanic female children in California will reach that of 
Hispanic male children, whom historically have the highest incidence.  To our knowledge, this increase 
in ALL incidence among Hispanic female children has not been previously reported. 
Our study revealed that Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) incidence among children aged 1 to 14 years in 
California remained relaƟvely stable.  This is different from the increasing trend reported by SEER for 
children aged 0 to 14 years between 1975 and 2011.  This difference is most likely explained by the fact 
that our study excluded infants.  When AML incidence was straƟfied by ethnicity, a significant increase 
in AML incidence among Hispanic children was observed (Figure 2).  To our knowledge, no other study 
has reported an increasing trend in childhood AML incidence among Hispanics. 
Our ability to conduct a detailed analysis of the trends in childhood leukemia by ethnicity was possible 
because of California’s large Hispanic populaƟon and also because the California Cancer Registry 
captures detailed informaƟon on the race and ethnicity of paƟents.  Given the large number of data 
items CerƟfied Tumor Registrars (CTR) are expected to abstract from the medical record, it may seem 
as though capturing a paƟent’s race and ethnicity is not a high priority.  However, researchers are very 
interested in invesƟgaƟng differences in all areas of the cancer conƟnuum from diagnosis, to 
treatment, to death from cancer or by race/ethnicity.  In fact, a simple search of Google Scholar using 
the keywords “cancer and race” returned 959,000 publicaƟons related to this topic!  In order to 
idenƟfy and address racial/ethnic differences in the cancer burden, we must conƟnue to obtain the 
most accurate and complete race/ethnicity informaƟon possible. 
Brenda M. (Hofer) Giddings, M.A. 
Research ScienƟst 
California Cancer ReporƟng and Epidemiologic Surveillance (CalCARES) Program  
InsƟtute for PopulaƟon Health Improvement  
UC Davis Health System
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