About the Long-Term Follow-Up for Childhood Cancer department

The long-term follow up (LTFU) service at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) was developed in the late 1980s. As the survival after treatment for childhood cancer began to improve, it became apparent that some treatments might cause problems in the future.Children are usually transferred from the acute oncology or haematology clinics into the LTFU clinic five years after their treatment for cancer has been completed.

Why does my child need long-term follow-up?

Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery are important methods for treating a variety of malignant and non-malignant childhood conditions, and many children’s lives are saved as a result. However, some of the treatments received might cause problems in the future.

The aim of long-term follow-up is to provide regular monitoring so that any new problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Sometimes referral to other specialists is necessary.

Children are referred to the LTFU team when they are at least five years from the end of treatment. Some of the follow-up may be shared with local hospitals. Clinic appointments are more frequent during childhood growth and development but may become less frequent in time.

It is important to keep coming to clinic appointments because problems can develop many years after the original treatment.