Management of growth failure in the treatment of malignant disease

Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 1990;7(4):365-71. doi: 10.3109/08880019009033413.


Growth failure due to endocrine dysfunction as a result of treatment for malignant disease is becoming increasingly common. It may occur after cranial or craniospinal irradiation given in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and brain tumors, and is often coupled with early or precocious puberty. It also occurs after neck and gonadal radiation and is particularly severe after total body irradiation where multiple endocrine deficiencies frequently occur. Failure to appreciate its occurrence or failure to institute therapy early enough may lead to short stature in adult life. Accurate and regular monitoring of standing and sitting height, bone age, and endocrine data should be undertaken by the oncologist in close collaboration with an endocrinologist, to ensure appropriate management of the patient.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Child
  • Cranial Irradiation / adverse effects
  • Growth Disorders / etiology*
  • Growth Disorders / therapy*
  • Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / radiotherapy
  • Puberty / drug effects
  • Puberty / radiation effects
  • Radiotherapy / adverse effects
  • Whole-Body Irradiation / adverse effects


  • Hormones