Background: Improved therapies and care have increased survival rates of childhood cancer in recent decades. This results in an increasing population of childhood cancer survivors. However, cancer treatments are harsh and can cause serious side-effects, such as hearing loss or infertility, which can greatly impact survivors’ quality of life in the long term. PanCareLIFE is a large international study, which identifies individual risk factors for these late effects.

Objectives: The study investigates incidence, severity and the risk factors for hearing loss and infertility in childhood cancer survivors. Furthermore, it compares health-related quality of life and its determinants between countries.

Methods: The Swiss cohort of 5-year survivors of childhood cancer will be part of the pan-European cohort looking at health related quality of life, hearing loss and infertility. Within this cohort we will identify patients with hearing loss or infertility via a questionnaire. Patients with hearing loss will then be included into a nested case-control study to identify non-genetic and genetic risk factors. Patient-reported diseases will be validated via the collection of audiograms from original medical records and detailed treatment data will be collected for selected patients.

Rationale and significance: This large pan-European cohort provides a unique opportunity to study late effects such as hearing loss, infertility and their impact on health-related quality of life. The findings of this project will lead to improvements in patient care.

Current status of project: The study started in November 2013. Detailed study protocols and questionnaires for the different study aims are currently being developed.

Study team: Kuehni CE, Kuonen R, Sommer G, Kasteler R, Weiss A, Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Bern; von der Weid NX, Paediatric Oncology, University Children’s Hospital Basel

Funding: European Union FP7-HEALTH-2013-INNOVATION-1 HEALTH.2013.2.4.1-3 (Project No. 602030), Swiss Cancer League (Grant No KFS-3412-02-2014)

Contact: Claudia Kuehni (, Rahel Kuonen (

Webpage: PanCareLIFE

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