Final height in growth hormone-deficient childhood cancer survivors after growth hormone therapy

G. Rodari, A. Cattoni, A. Albanese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) is the most prevalent hypothalamic–pituitary (HP) disorder found in childhood cancer survivors (CCS). The published studies assessing GHD in CCS concluded that recombinant human GH (rhGH) does not restore final height (FH) to that predicted from mid-parental height (MPH). Thus, wider analyses on final height outcomes after rhGH in CCS are needed. Methods: Retrospective study on final height (FH) in 87 CCS treated with rhGH. Patients were divided into: Group A (n =48) who underwent cranial radiotherapy or had non-irradiated tumours of HP area, and B (n =39) who were treated with craniospinal or total body irradiation (TBI). 19/87 patients with central precocious/early puberty also received GnRH analogues. Results: Height (HT) gain after 1 and 2 years of rhGH was 0.38 ± 0.35 SDS and 0.18 ± 0.30 SDS, respectively (P < 0.0001); mean FH was in the normal range (− 0.85 ± 1.34 SDS), though not significantly different from HT SDS at baseline. 67% overall failed to reach MPH especially in Group B (P < 0.0001). However, height loss (HT SDS-MPH SDS) at FH improved or remained stable compared to baseline in 26/45 patients (58%). On stepwise regression analysis, major determinants of FH were HT at baseline (P < 0.0001) and delay before start of rhGH (P = 0.012). There was no significant difference in FH when GnRHa was added to rhGH. Conclusion: rhGH and GnRH analogues therapy, when indicated, though failing to induce catch-up growth, prevented further height loss leading to a FH within the normal range but still below MPH, this latter being statistically significant in children who received craniospinal and TBI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-217
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Cancer survivors
  • Final height
  • GnRH analogues
  • Growth hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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