Leukemia and other malignancies among GH users

J Pediatr Endocrinol. 1993 Jan-Mar;6(1):99-108. doi: 10.1515/jpem.1993.6.1.99.


The number of reported cases of leukemia developing in growth hormone (GH) users worldwide has reached 31. Twelve Japanese cases are briefly reviewed; five each of AML and ALL, and one each of CML and malignant histiocytosis. The underlying diseases of these patients consisted of 8 idiopathic disease, 3 tumors and one Fanconi's anemia. Leukemia occurred during GH treatment in 9 cases and after cessation of GH in 3. The longest interval from the cessation of GH therapy was 10 years. GH administration from a younger age tended to be linked to myeloid type. Risk factors and possible mechanisms of leukemogenesis by growth hormone are discussed, and proposals for the future have been made by the Foundation for Growth Science in Japan.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dwarfism, Pituitary / drug therapy*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Fanconi Anemia / epidemiology*
  • Fanconi Anemia / etiology
  • Female
  • Growth Hormone / adverse effects
  • Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / chemically induced
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / epidemiology*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / chemically induced
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / chemically induced
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Growth Hormone