Pediatric Cancer: No Link Between Growth Hormone Treatment and Cancer Relapse

A child who has been given growth hormone and cured of cancer most likely will not develop cancer as an adult. That’s what the research teams at AP-HP Bicêtre Hospital, INSERM, Gustave-Roussy, and the University of Paris-Saclay say.

Norditropin HGH Injections

Norditropin HGH Injections

No, having received growth hormone during childhood as a therapeutic complement to cancer treatment does not significantly increase the risk of a second neoplasm in adulthood. This statement is the conclusion of a study conducted by French research teams and published in the pages of the next issue of the European Society of Endocrinology journal.

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Growth hormone deficiency is a consequence of certain radiotherapies that children undergo. To compensate for the risk of not reaching adult size, many are then prescribed growth hormone injections, according to INSERM. However, according to the Research Institute, “fears” have been raised about the appearance of another tumor in adulthood linked to this hormone treatment. To dispel the doubt, researchers at the Centre de recherche en Épidémiologie et Santé des Populations (CESP) (INSERM/Université Paris-Saclay/Gustave Roussy) and the Bicêtre APHP hospital analyzed data from a cohort of 2,852 survivors of pediatric cancer diagnosed before the age of 18, before 1986. Of these, 196 had been treated in childhood with growth hormones. Of these survivors, 374 developed new cancer, 40 of which received growth hormones.

A very limited or even negligible risk

According to the analysis of these data, which offers 26 years of retrospective, 12.5% of adults who had childhood cancer without receiving growth hormone developed a new tumor in adulthood. A statistic that reaches 20% for those who received these hormonal supplements. For researchers, this means “that treatment with growth hormones is not associated with an increased risk of second tumors.” “This study provides information on the long-term fate of children we treat with a growth hormone deficiency, secondary to the treatment of their cancer,” explains Cécile Thomas-Teinturier, a pediatric endocrinologist at Bicêtre AP-HP Hospital and first author of the study. “These new data allow us to approach growth hormone treatment with serenity when necessary and assure families that there is no increased risk of second tumors.”

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But while growth hormones do not increase the risk of developing a second brain tumor (non-meningioma) or a second non-cerebral cancer, scientists see a correlation between the occurrence of meningiomas and the duration of hormone treatment. They observed that if the duration of treatment is less than 4 years, the risk is 1.6 times, while it is 2.3 times if the exposure is more than 4 years. Therefore, the authors of the study conclude that this slight increase “is not significant”. “This slight excessive risk of meningioma in patients with long-term growth hormone treatment is negligible and may be due to difficulties in adjusting the volume/dose of cranial radiation and/or undiagnosed predisposing conditions for meningioma,” the researchers said.

References

Influence of growth hormone therapy on the occurrence of a second neoplasm in survivors of childhood cancer

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