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Cancer treatment improvements save 5,600 children

The survival rate of children with leukaemia has risen to 80% since the 1970s, new figures have shown.

Dramatically improved treatments - primarily the development of combination treatments and new ways of delivering higher dose chemotherapy - have seen survival rates soar.

The lives of more than 5,600 children have been saved as a result, according to Cancer Research UK.

As the charity launches its annual Little Stars Awards, which celebrates the bravery of childhood cancer victims, the charity released new figures.

Only a third of children with leukaemia, the most common childhood cancer, lived five years or more in the early 1970s, but today their survival rate is more than 80%.

The charity said the discovery of several different types of childhood leukaemia has also aided the improvement of survival rates.

Survival rates for neuroblastoma, a cancer affecting nerve tissue, have also soared - from just 17% to 64%.

The study covered a 34-year period, studying survival rates of children with cancer from 1971 to 2005.

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