Background: Treatments of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), involving various combinations of chemotherapy (chemo), cranial irradiation (CI) and/or bone marrow transplantation after total body irradiation (BMT/TBI), are often successful but may have several long-term harmful effects.
Objective: To evaluate late endocrine and metabolic complications in adult survivors of childhood ALL and NHL, in relation with the different therapeutic schemes received.
Design: Endocrine and metabolic parameters were determined in 94 patients (48 men, mean age: 24 +/- 5 years) with a former childhood ALL (n = 78) or NHL (n = 16) and subgrouped according to their previous treatment: chemo only (group I; n = 44), chemo + CI (group II; n = 32) and chemo + BMT/TBI (group III; n = 18).
Results: Severe GH deficiency (peak < 3.0 ng/ml after glucagon) was observed in 22% and 50% of patients of groups II and III, respectively, while hypothyroidism was mainly observed in group III (56%). Moreover, 83% of men developed hypogonadism after BMT/TBI, compared to 17% and 8% in groups I and II, respectively (P < 0.05), and all grafted women had ovarian failure, in contrast with other female patients in whom menarche had occurred spontaneously. Patients with BMT/TBI had also an adverse metabolic profile, with insulin resistance in 83% and dyslipidaemia in 61%.
Conclusions: This study reveals a high prevalence of endocrine and metabolic disorders in young adult survivors of childhood ALL or NHL, this frequency mainly depending on the treatment received. Treatment with BMT/TBI is the most detrimental and many of these patients will develop GHD, hypothyroidism, hypogonadism, insulin resistance and dyslipidaemia.