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Background: Similar to the general population many former childhood cancer patients wish to have children. However, many survivors worry that their own children might develop cancer or could have other health problems. These fears can affect the quality of life and family planning. Previous studies found no increased risk for genetic diseases or cancers. However, most studies only included small numbers of survivors with their own children. Therefore, the SCCR participates in an international multicentre study including Germany [Principal Investigator], Austria, Poland, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

Objectives: In order to provide better information and education of patients and survivors of childhood cancer we aim to answer the following questions: 1. Is there a difference in the general health status of the offspring of former childhood cancer patients compared to children in the general population? 2. How concerned are former childhood cancer patients regarding their children? 3. How healthy do children of former childhood cancer patients grow up?

Methods: In this cross-sectional study we include all former patients registered at the SCCR who were diagnosed with cancer under age 16 years, were Swiss residents at diagnosis, are now at least 18 years old and have own children. In addition, we invite siblings of participating survivors to complete a questionnaire for their children. The questionnaire was developed in Germany and includes questions on the health status of the offspring, and concerns of survivors regarding their children.

Rationale and significance: The proposed study will provide a better basis for the education of former, current and future patients. Fears of former cancer patients can be addressed and reduced if valid and adequate information is available. Where required, preventive measures to improve health impairment in offspring can be taken.

Current status of the project: We are currently preparing the questionnaire survey.

Study team: Michel G, Vetsch J, Rueegg CS, Department of Health Sciences and Health Policy, University of Lucerne

Funding: Kinderkrebshilfe Schweiz.

Contact: Gisela Michel (gisela.michel@unilu.ch), Janine Vetsch (janine.vetsch@unilu.ch)

© ISPM - University of Bern 2016