Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To formulate clinical practice guidelines for the endocrine treatment of hypothalamic-pituitary and growth disorders in survivors of childhood cancer.

PARTICIPANTS:

An Endocrine Society-appointed guideline writing committee of six medical experts and a methodologist.

CONCLUSIONS:

Due to remarkable improvements in childhood cancer treatment and supportive care during the past several decades, 5-year survival rates for childhood cancer currently are >80%. However, by virtue of their disease and its treatments, childhood cancer survivors are at increased risk for a wide range of serious health conditions, including disorders of the endocrine system. Recent data indicate that 40% to 50% of survivors will develop an endocrine disorder during their lifetime. Risk factors for endocrine complications include both host (e.g., age, sex) and treatment factors (e.g., radiation). Radiation exposure to key endocrine organs (e.g., hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, and gonads) places cancer survivors at the highest risk of developing an endocrine abnormality over time; these endocrinopathies can develop decades following cancer treatment, underscoring the importance of lifelong surveillance. The following guideline addresses the diagnosis and treatment of hypothalamic-pituitary and growth disorders commonly encountered in childhood cancer survivors.