, Volume 152, Issue 9, pp 730-733

Growth and growth hormone in children during and after therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

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Growth impairment and growth hormone (GH) deficiency have been reported in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). We have studied growth and GH secretion in a group of 50 patients, affected by ALL, during a 2- to 5-year period after diagnosis, and in 12 “long-term-survivors”. We observed a significant decrease in growth velocity during the 1st year (in particular during the first 6 months) of therapy and a catch-up growth after the end of therapy. “Longterm survivors” did not exhibit a significant reduction of height standard deviation score (SDS), as compared to height SDS at diagnosis. None of the patients showed GH deficiency. Our data indicate that chemotherapy significantly affects growth of patients treated for ALL, whereas radiotherapy-at the doses used in this study-does not induce GH deficiency, at least not within 9 years after diagnosis.