Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

JAMA Oncol


Adolescent; Adult; Age Distribution; Age Factors; Age of Onset; Cancer Survivors; Female; Humans; Male; Multivariate Analysis; Neoplasms, Second Primary; Prognosis; Proportional Hazards Models; Retrospective Studies; Risk Factors; SEER Program; Time Factors; United States; Young Adult


Importance: Although the increased incidence of second primary malignant neoplasms (SPMs) is a well-known late effect after cancer, few studies have compared survival after an SPM to survival of the same cancer occurring as first primary malignant neoplasm (PM) by age.

Objective: To assess the survival impact of SPMs in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) (15-39 years) compared with that of pediatric (<15 >years) and older adult (≥40 years) patients with the same SPMs.

Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a population-based, retrospective cohort study of patients with cancer in 13 Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results regions in the United States diagnosed from 1992 to 2008 and followed through 2013. Data analysis was performed between June 2016 and January 2017.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Five-year relative survival was calculated overall and for each cancer occurring as a PM or SPM by age at diagnosis. The impact of SPM status on cancer-specific death was examined using multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression.

Results: A total of 15 954 pediatric, 125 750 AYAs, and 878 370 older adult patients diagnosed as having 14 cancers occurring as a PM or SPM were included. Overall, 5-year survival after an SPM was 33.1% lower for children, 20.2% lower for AYAs, and 8.3% lower for older adults compared with a PM at the same age. For the most common SPMs in AYAs, the absolute difference in 5-year survival was 42% lower for secondary non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 19% for secondary breast carcinoma, 15% for secondary thyroid carcinoma, and 13% for secondary soft-tissue sarcoma. Survival by SPM status was significantly worse in younger vs older patients for thyroid, Hodgkin lymphoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, acute myeloid leukemia, soft-tissue sarcoma, and central nervous system cancer. Adolescents and young adults with secondary Hodgkin lymphoma (hazard ratio [95% CI], 3.5 [1.7-7.1]); soft-tissue sarcoma (2.8 [2.1-3.9]); breast carcinoma (2.1 [1.8-2.4]); acute myeloid leukemia (1.9 [1.5-2.4]); and central nervous system cancer (1.8 [1.2-2.8]) experienced worse survival compared with AYAs with the same PMs.

Conclusion and Relevance: The adverse impact of SPMs on survival is substantial for AYAs and may partially explain the relative lack of survival improvement in AYAs compared with other age groups. The impact of a particular SPM diagnosis on survival may inform age-specific prevention, screening, treatment, and survivorship recommendations.

Clinical Institute


Clinical Institute

Women & Children