Nervous system tumors in adult immigrants to Sweden by subsite and histology.

Division of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany.
European Journal of Neurology (Impact Factor: 4.16). 12/2010; 18(5):766-71. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2010.03275.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The coding of histology of nervous system (NS) tumors with various degrees of malignancies differs between cancer registries, whereby the comparison of incidence rates from one registry to another seems difficult. No study has systematically defined whether the change in the risk of NS tumors upon immigration in adulthood varies by subsite or histology. Therefore, we aimed to address this issue amongst the first-generation immigrants to Sweden based on a large uniform cancer registry data (1958-2006).
The nationwide Swedish Family-Cancer Database (2008 version; >11.8 million individuals; 1.8 million immigrants; histology code in force since 1958) was used to calculate standardized incidence ratios (SIRs). We analyzed 28,981 adult cases of NS tumors amongst Swedes and 2519 amongst immigrants (age ≥ 30).
Significantly decreased risks for brain glioma were amongst German (SIR = 0.64), Eastern European (0.62), some Asian (0.71), Chilean (0.34), and African immigrants (0.52). We found an increased risk for brain meningioma amongst Finns (1.15) and former Yugoslavians (1.33), whilst only Norwegians (0.71) and Latin Americans (0.21) had a decreased risk. The risk for spinal ependymoma and astrocytoma was increased in Germans (3.66) and former Yugoslavians (8.89). We found no significant difference for peripheral nerve tumors between immigrants and the native Swedes.
Significant differences between risk of NS tumors amongst immigrants and the native Swedes may suggest different risk factor profiles for glioma compared to meningioma indicating a higher etiological role of genetic background or childhood environmental risk factors rather than exposures after immigration.

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    ABSTRACT: The early cancer studies on immigrants, which started to appear some 50 years ago, showed that the incidence in cancers changes to the level of the new host country in one or two generations. These findings were fundamental to the understanding of the environmental etiology of human cancer. Many immigrant groups originate from countries with no cancer registration, and, hence, the immigrant studies may provide estimates on the indigenous cancer rates. The Swedish Family-Cancer Database has been an important source of data for immigrant studies on various diseases. The Database covers the Swedish population of the past 100 years, and it records the country of birth for each subject. A total of 1.79 million individuals were foreign born, Finns and other Scandinavians being the largest immigrant groups. Over the course of years, some 30 publications have appeared relating to cancer in immigrants. In the present article, we will review more recent immigrant studies, mainly among Swedish immigrants, on all cancers and emphasize the differences between ethnic groups. In the second part, we discuss the problem of reliable registration of cancer and compare cancer incidence among non-European immigrants with cancer incidence in countries of origin, as these have now active cancer registries. We discuss the experiences in cancer registration in Morocco and Egypt. We show the usefulness and limitations in predicting cancer incidence in the countries of origin.
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