Survival data for all consecutive paediatric cancer patients (age 0-15) diagnosed between 1 January 1992 and 31 December 2001 are presented. The patients came from a catchment area in Norway with a population of approximately 1 million. During the period under review, the most intensive paediatric cancer treatment regimen up until now was given. There were 280 patients 128/280 (45.7%) girls and 152/280 (54.3%) boys; mean age at diagnosis was 6. Overall survival 3-13 years after diagnosis was 219/280 (78%). Over this ten-year period we treated 65 (23%) children with central nervous system tumours, 98 (35%) children with leukaemia, including acute myeloid leukaemia, and 117 (42%) children with solid tumours including lymphomas. Overall survival in these three subgroups was 49/65 (75%) for patients with central nervous system tumours, 80/98 (82%) for those with leukaemia, and 92/117 (79%) for those with solid tumours. Compared to previous data, survival increased with the intensity of treatment and resources used. Saved years of life for our 280 children are estimated to be a total of 14,000; the cost per saved year of life to be on average USD 2400. Our former patients will, through their future taxes, pay this back to the community many times over.