Childhood cancer incidence among specific Asian and Pacific Islander populations in the United States

Kristin J. Moore, Aubrey K Hubbard, Lindsay A. Williams, Logan G. Spector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Despite the vast genetic and environmental diversity in Asia, individuals of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) descent are often combined into a single group for epidemiologic analyses within the U.S. We used the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Detailed Asian/Pacific Islander Database to calculate incidence rates for discrete groups among children aged 0 to 19 years. Due to sample size constraints we pooled incidence among regional groups based on countries of origin: East Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Korean), Southeast (SE) Asians (Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian), Asian Indian/Pakistani, Oceanians (Guamanian, Samoan, Tongan) and Filipinos. Incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated comparing each API regional group to Non-Hispanic Whites (NHW) and East Asians. Finally, we calculated the correlation between incidence of cancer in specific API ethnicities in SEER and in originating countries in the Cancer Incidence in Five Continents. Incidence rates among API regional groups varied. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) was lower in children of SE Asian descent (IRR 0.65, 95% CI 0.44, 0.96) compared to NHW. Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) was more common among children from Oceania compared to NHW (IRR 3.88, 95% CI 1.83, 8.22). East Asians had higher incidence rates than SE Asians but lower rates compared to children from Oceania. Correlation of some incidence rates between US-based API ethnicities and originating countries were similar. The variation observed in childhood cancer incidence patterns among API groups may indicate differences in underlying genetics and/or patterns of exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3339-3348
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant T32 CA099936; Logan Spector, PhD, MPH [L. A. W. and A. K. H.]) and the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (grant 2T32CA163184; Michele Allen, MD, MS, PI [K. J. M.]). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 UICC


  • Asian and Pacific islander
  • childhood cancer
  • disparities
  • incidence
  • pediatric cancer

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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