One hundred and two cases of neonatal cancers, representing 2% of all paediatric malignancies, were seen during a 60 year period at The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada. The neonatal cancers included neuroblastoma (47%), retinoblastoma (17%), soft tissue sarcoma (12%), central nervous system tumours (9%), leukaemia (8%), and a few cases of Wilms' tumour, liver tumour, and miscellaneous tumours. The overall mortality from disease was 41%. Patients with retinoblastoma, Wilms' tumour, and neuroblastoma had the best prognosis. Forty three patients (42%) survived their neonatal cancers; all were treated with surgery or radiochemotherapy, or both, but none suffered long term major handicaps as a result of treatment. There was one instance of second malignancy of the thyroid gland induced by radiation. We conclude that although neonatal cancers are difficult management problems, many patients can be cured. Physicians should discuss with parents the possible risks associated with treatment before treatment is begun.
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