Just 60 children in the Netherlands died of cancer in 2016, compared with over 200 in the early 1970s, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.
In particular, the drop was marked for leukemia deaths – down from around 100 a year to fewer than 20, the CBS said.
Dutch cancer charity KWF Kankerbestrijding says that knowledge about leukemia had expanded considerably over the period. Doctors are aware there are some 40 different types which helps them to target treatment and new approaches, such as stem cell transplants, are also offering hope, broadcaster NOS said.
Nevertheless, cancer remains the most common cause of death in the under the age of 16. Three out of 10 children who die, die of cancer. Brain tumours are by far the biggest cause of death.