Childhood Cancer Survival in Brunei Darussalam

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Faculty of Science, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jln Tungku Link, Brunei Darussalam.

2 Institute of Applied Data Analytics, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jln Tungku Link, Brunei Darussalam.

3 NCD Prevention Unit, Ministry of Health, Commonwealth Drive, Brunei Darussalam.

4 Early Detection & Cancer Prevention Services, Pantai Jerudong Specialist Centre, Brunei Darussalam.


Background: This study aims to determine the survival rates for children and adolescents aged 0-19 years diagnosed with childhood cancer and to evaluate the associated factors for childhood cancer survival in Brunei Darussalam. Methods: The analysis was based on de-identified data of 263 childhood cancer for the period 2002 to 2017 retrieved from a population-based cancer registry. Overall survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Univariate analysis, using the log-rank test, was used to examine the differences in survival between groups. Multivariate analysis, using the Cox Proportional Hazard (PH) regression model, was used to estimate the hazard ratios (HRs) and select the significant associated factors for childhood cancer patients’ survival. Results: The overall 1-, 5- and 10-year survival rates for all childhood cancers combined were 79.4%, 70.0% and 68.8% respectively. The most common types of cancer were leukemias, malignant epithelial neoplasms, lymphomas and tumours of the central nervous system (CNS). The 5-year survival estimates were highest for malignant epithelial neoplasms (84.2%) while the lowest was tumours of the CNS (44.1%). Log rank tests showed significant differences in childhood cancer patients’ survival between tumour types and period of diagnosis. In the Cox PH analysis, the presence of lymphomas, gonodal and germ cell neoplasms, and malignant epithelial neoplasms compared to leukemia; children aged 1-4 and 5-9 years compared to adolescents aged 15-19 years; and periods of diagnosis in 2002-2006 and 2007-2011 compared to 2012-2017 were significantly associated with lower hazard of death in this study. Conclusion: This study provides a baseline measurement of childhood cancer survival for monitoring and evaluation of cancer control programmes, to allow planning of cancer control program strategies such as surveillance, screening, and treatment to improve childhood survival rates in Brunei Darussalam.


Main Subjects