The Incidence of Childhood Cancer in Iran: A systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Soheil Hassanipour
  • Mohammad Fathalipour
  • Hamed Delam
  • Mohammad Ghorbani
  • Elham Abdzadeh
  • Morteza Arab-Zozani
  • Shirin Riahi
  • Hamid Salehiniya
Keywords: Childhood cancer, Incidence, Iran


Background: Childhood cancer (ChC) is very rare and occurs between birth and 14 years of age. There are several reports about ChC incidence from various regions of Iran, but with conflicting results.  The present study aimed to do a systematic review to estimate the accurate incidence rate of ChC among Iranian people.

Materials and Methods: This systematic review was performed based on the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) checklist in 2018. A literature search was conducted using international databases (Medline/PubMed, Scopus, ISI/Web of Knowledge, and Google Scholar) for English papers, and national databases (Scientific Information Database, MagIran, IranMedex, and IranDoc) for Persian papers which estimated the incidence rate of ChC in any geographical location in  Iran. The incidence rate of ChC was calculated using random-effect model.

Results: Out of 157 papers in the primary searches, 12 studies were included by advanced screening and refinement. The crude incidence rate (CIR) of ChC in 0-14 years was 16.8 per 100,000 (95% CI: 9.04-24.56) for boys and 16.56 per 100,000 (95% CI: 10.51-22.62) for girls.

Conclusion: The incidence of ChC in Iran is higher compared to other parts of the world. Considering this issue, holding some interventional programs on tackling potential risk factors, including air pollution, in different regions of Iran is suggested.