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Child cancer survival rates increasing

More than eight in 10 children with cancer now survive, the latest figures from Cancer Research UK show. 

In the late 1960s, just 30% of children with cancer survived for more than five years. The number has risen from 79% to 82% over the last ten years. 

According to the research organisation, the increase in survival is due to combining a number of different chemotherapy drugs. 

Liver and bone tumours have made the greatest progress, however certain forms, such as neuroblastoma (67%) and medulloblastoma (64%) still have relatively low five-year survival rates. 

Professor Pam Kearns, director of Cancer Research UK clinical trials unit, said: “Although more than eight in 10 children with cancer now survive their disease for more than five years, more work is needed to discover better treatments. As more and more children survive cancer, it is especially important that we concentrate on improving the quality of life after cancer.”

Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK's chief clinician, said: “Cancer Research UK is funding a range of trials to develop new treatments for cancers where we currently have few treatment options, such as aggressive neuroblastoma. We hope these efforts will mean there are even more childhood cancer survivors in the UK in the years to come.”