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About

The UKCCS was set-up to investigate a broad range of possible causes of childhood cancer including the potential carcinogenic effects of both ionizing and non-ionizing radiations, chemicals and drugs, as well as infectious agents. In addition to examining these physical, chemical and biological environmental exposures, studying the relationship with other health-states and events, both in the child and their parents, was recognized as a major research priority.

Study Population

  • Children (≤ 15 years) registered for
    primary care with a general practitioner -
    • 98% of all children in UK

Cases - ascertained from multiple sources:

  • Treating / referring hospitals
  • Cross-checks with cancer registries
    subsequently confirming the completeness
    of ascertainment

Controls - 2 per case selected from
primary care population registers,
individually matched on:

  • Sex
  • Year and month of birth
  • UKCCS region of residence
UKCCS Labelled Map
UKCCS Labelled Map

All study documents and related publications can be viewed on this website.

For the purposes of study management ten UKCCS administrative areas were created; the conduct of the study within each being the responsibility of a single epidemiological centre.

All regions complied with the core protocol, with some being charged to conduct specific population-based ‘add-on’ components over specified periods of time. A schematic representation showing the typical flow of data-collection within a region is given below (left).

Data Collection Flow Chart
Data Collection Flow Chart

Birth certificates were subsequently obtained, and residential postcodes linked to small area census data. Diagnostic information was obtained from treatment trials, pathological review, cytogenetic databases and, where necessary, directly from hospital notes. Biological samples (pre-treatment and remission) were, where possible, taken and stored. The final datasets and numbers available are shown diagrammatically above (right). The variation in numbers largely reflects differences in design of the various add-on components and the time-periods over which they ran. For example, the electromagnetic field (EMF) component had additional eligibility criteria, started after the main study had begun, and only targeted one control per case.

Data Collection Flow Chart
Data Collection Flow Chart
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