Growth Hormone Deficiency in Childhood Intracranial Germ Cell Tumor Survivors

Diana W. Lone, Karim T. Sadak, Bradley S. Miller, Jeannette M. Sample, Aubrey K. Hubbard, Caryn Wolter, Michelle Roesler, Michelle Nuno, Jenny N. Poynter


Background: Intracranial germ cell tumor (iGCT) survivors have multiple risk factors for growth hormone (GH) deficiency, a commonly reported late effect in childhood cancer survivors. The objective of this study was to examine the prevalence of GH deficiency among childhood iGCT survivors.

Methods: Participants were previously enrolled in the Germ Cell Tumor Epidemiology Study (GaMETES), a case-parent triad study conducted using the Children’s Oncology Group registry protocols, including 216 cases with iGCTs. Data on late effects and outcomes are available for 129 iGCT cases who consented for a follow-up study including a self-administered questionnaire and medical record retrieval. GH deficiency was identified via self-report and validated through medical record review. Chi-squared and Fisher’s exact tests were used to examine cases with GH deficiency predating iGCT detection. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of GH deficiency as a late effect.

Results: Of 129 iGCT cases who participated in the late effects study, 45% had GH deficiency, 18% had GH deficiency predating the iGCT, and 27% developed GH deficiency within a median of 19 months after diagnosis. Younger age at diagnosis, suprasellar location, and higher radiation doses were associated with GH deficiency as a late effect.

Conclusions: GH deficiency is highly prevalent as an early clinical sign for iGCT and frequently arises as an early late effect after treatment. Additional investigation is needed to address earlier detection and treatment for this highly prevalent late effect in iGCT survivors.

J Endocrinol Metab. 2022;12(3):79-88


Intracranial germ cell tumor; Growth hormone deficiency; Late effects

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