Pediatric Cancer Survivors At High Risk for Second Stroke

HealthDay News — Childhood cancer survivors who have had a stroke have a greater risk of having a second, according to a study published in Neurology.

Researchers analyzed data from 14,358 people in the United States and Canada who were diagnosed with childhood cancers between 1970 and 1986 and took part in a long follow-up study. Of the 271 patients who had a stroke, 70 suffered a second stroke. Over 10 years, 21% of stroke survivors had a second stroke, which is twice the rate seen in noncancer stroke survivors, the researchers said.

The rate of second stroke was even higher — 33% — among patients who received cranial radiation therapy for their childhood cancer, the researchers found. Other strong predictors of second stroke were hypertension and older age at first stroke.

“We are at a point where more children are surviving cancer because of lifesaving interventions. Now we are facing long-term problems associated with these interventions,” coauthor Sabine Mueller, MD, PhD, director of the University of California, San Francisco, Pediatric Brain Tumor Center, said in a university news release.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


  1. Fullerton HJ et al. Neurology. 2015; doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000001951.