J Cancer 2021; 12(8):2326-2335. doi:10.7150/jca.52186

Research Paper

Secular trends in the incidence and survival of all leukemia types in the United States from 1975 to 2017

Xiaorong Yang, PhD1,2✉, Hui Chen, MPH1,2, Jinyu Man, MSc3, Tongchao Zhang, PhD3, Xiaolin Yin, PhD3, Qiufeng He, MSc3, Ming Lu, MD, PhD1,2,3✉

1. Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, China.
2. Clinical Research Center of Shandong University, Qilu Hospital, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, China.
3. Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Cheeloo College of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, China.

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Citation:
Yang X, Chen H, Man J, Zhang T, Yin X, He Q, Lu M. Secular trends in the incidence and survival of all leukemia types in the United States from 1975 to 2017. J Cancer 2021; 12(8):2326-2335. doi:10.7150/jca.52186. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p2326.htm

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Abstract

Background: Various studies have indicated that the prognosis of leukemia has been improved in recent years, but the secular trends of incidence and long-term survival of all leukemia have not been thoroughly examined.

Methods: We estimated the leukemia incidence and 5-year survival rate along with the temporal trends by sex, race, age, and subtype in the United States over the past four decades using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database.

Results: The overall incidence of leukemia steadily increased from 12.39/100 000 in 1975 to 14.65/100 000 in 2011, and then began to decline in recent years (13.73/100 000 in 2017), with average annual percent changes (APC) of 0.350 (P<0.001). The 5-year relative survival rate of leukemia patients significantly improved from 33.2% in 1975 to 66.1% in 2012 (APC=1.980, P<0.001). The main subtypes of leukemia, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and chronic myeloid leukemia, increased in most age groups; conversely, the incidences of all other subtypes were gradually declined during the monitoring period. The incremental advancement in leukemia prognosis had been achieved in almost all histological subtypes, especially among young patients.

Conclusions: Based on SEER data, the leukemia incidence increased gradually over the past decades, and then began to decline in recent years in the United States. The 5-year relative survival rate increased incrementally over time, especially among young patients. However, the huge disparities among different sexes, races, histological subtypes, and age groups, emphasize that precise causes control and innovative treatments need to be developed to reduce the incidence and improve the prognosis, especially among specific populations.

Keywords: leukemia, incidence, survival, secular trend, SEER