Tertiary care centres, grouped in the Italian Association of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology (AIEOP) are unevenly distributed across the country. In an attempt to describe their perceived efficacy, we matched the residence and the location of the treatment centre in 18,441 patients aged <or=15 years treated in the AIEOP network between 1989 and 2005. Overall, centres located in the central and southern regions were less appealing than those located in the North, although this trend decreased over the study period. Patients with solid tumours migrated more frequently than those with leukaemia or lymphoma. Information resulting from better knowledge of the non-random migrations for treatment of children with cancer will be useful to refine planning of the national paediatric haematology-oncology network with social and economic implications.
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