Brain cancer replaces leukemia as deadliest cancer for kids, study shows

ATLANTA — Brain cancer has surpassed leukemia as the deadliest cancer for children and teens in the United States, new federal data show.

The new numbers are a result of major advances in leukemia treatment and lack of progress when it comes to brain cancer, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“More than half of all cancer deaths among children and adolescents aged 1-19 years in 1999 and 2014 were attributable to either leukemia or brain cancer,” the report said.

Brain cancer and leukemia accounted for more than half of all cancer deaths for people age 1-19 in 1999 and 2014, the report says.

“A shift occurred during the period, with brain cancer replacing leukemia as the leading type of cancer causing death” for that age group, the report says.

The report included good news: It showed a 20 percent decline in cancer deaths overall among children and teens during the 15-year period.

“This latest news highlights the need for greater investment as well as new approaches to funding and conducting pediatric brain tumor research,” the National Brain Tumor Society said after the report.