BACKGROUND:

Central nervous system (CNS) and non-CNS embryonal tumors occur principally in children and are rarely seen in adults. The incidence rates for rare entities such as atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RT) or primitive neuroectodermal tumors in the CNS are rarely published. Incidence rates for certain subgroups, such as hepatoblastomas, have been increasing in some countries.

METHODS:

Data of 8337 embryonal tumors, registered in children (0–14 years) between 1991 and 2012 (for AT/RT 2000–2012) in the population-based German Childhood Cancer Registry with complete national coverage were analyzed for incidence rates, time trends, and survival.

RESULTS:

For most entities, the incidence rates were the highest for children <1 year. An important exception was medulloblastomas, which occurred mainly in 1- to 9-year-olds. Neuroblastomas and ganglioneuroblastomas as well as Wilms tumors (nephroblastomas) had the highest age standardized incidence rates (13.7 and 9.4 per million, respectively). A statistically significant increasing trend for hepatoblastomas (annual average percent change 4.6%) was detected. The survival probabilities varied between the diagnostic groups: primitive neuroectodermal tumors and AT/RT had the lowest and retinoblastomas the highest. The survival was dependent on the age at diagnosis, the most extreme examples being neuroblastomas, for which the survival probability declined steeply for children ≥1 year and medulloblastomas, for which the highest survival was seen for 10- to 14-year-olds.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study presents a comprehensive overview of pediatric embryonal tumors from a well-established, complete nationwide cancer registry. Significant increasing trend for hepatoblastomas was detected for the first time in Europe.

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