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      Final Height in Children with Medulloblastoma Treated with Growth Hormone

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          Background: Medulloblastoma is the most frequent primary solid central nervous system tumour in children. The 5-year survival rate is at present at about 60%. Height in general is severely compromised in survivors. The present study is an extension of the investigation by the author’s group of the effect of exogenous growth hormone (GH) among medulloblastoma patients. Methods: A total of 113 patients with medulloblastoma (out of 682 cases documented in KIGS, Pfizer International Growth Database) were treated with GH till final height was achieved. At the start of GH therapy (median dose 0.18 mg/kg/week), patients were 8.9 years old and had a median height SDS of –1.6. Results: After 6.8 years of GH, final height SDS was –1.9, reflecting an overall loss in height of 0.3 SDS. This contrasted with an age-matched group of patients with idiopathic growth hormone deficiency (iGHD, n = 1,986), whose gain in height was 1.6 SDS on the same dose. The index of responsiveness averaged –0.9 during the first prepubertal year and –2.0 during total pubertal growth, thus indicating a major impairment in responsiveness to GH as compared to iGHD. Height at GH start, which correlated positively with the age at disease onset, was found to be the major determinant of final height. Conclusions: Our findings show that attempts to improve the height outcome in medulloblastoma must involve earlier recognition and treatment with higher-than-replacement doses of GH; additionally, modifications in cancer treatment programs need to be considered, such as lowering the dose of craniospinal irradiation or avoiding it as far as possible.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Treatment of early childhood medulloblastoma by postoperative chemotherapy alone.

          The prognosis for young children with medulloblastoma is poor, and survivors are at high risk for cognitive deficits. We conducted a trial of the treatment of this brain tumor by intensive postoperative chemotherapy alone. After surgery, children received three cycles of intravenous chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, methotrexate, carboplatin, and etoposide) and intraventricular methotrexate. Treatment was terminated if a complete remission was achieved. Leukoencephalopathy and cognitive deficits were evaluated. Forty-three children were treated according to protocol. In children who had complete resection (17 patients), residual tumor (14), and macroscopic metastases (12), the five-year progression-free and overall survival rates (+/-SE) were 82+/-9 percent and 93+/-6 percent, 50+/-13 percent and 56+/-14 percent, and 33+/-14 percent and 38+/-15 percent, respectively. The rates in 31 patients without macroscopic metastases were 68+/-8 percent and 77+/-8 percent. Desmoplastic histology, metastatic disease, and an age younger than two years were independent prognostic factors for tumor relapse and survival. Treatment strategies at relapse were successful in 8 of 16 patients. There were no major instances of unexpected toxicity. In 19 of 23 children, asymptomatic leukoencephalopathy was detected by magnetic resonance imaging. After treatment, the mean IQ was significantly lower than that of healthy controls within the same age group but higher than that of patients in a previous trial who had received radiotherapy. Postoperative chemotherapy alone is a promising treatment for medulloblastoma in young children without metastases. Copyright 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society.
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            Standards from birth to maturity for height, weight, height velocity, and weight velocity: British children, 1965. II.

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              Adult height after long-term, continuous growth hormone (GH) treatment in short children born small for gestational age: results of a randomized, double-blind, dose-response GH trial.

              The GH dose-response effect of long-term continuous GH treatment on adult height (AH) was evaluated in 54 short children born small for gestational age (SGA) who were participating in a randomized, double-blind, dose-response trial. Patients were randomly and blindly assigned to treatment with either 3 IU (group A) or 6 IU (group B) GH/m(2).d ( approximately 0.033 or 0.067 mg/kg.d, respectively). The mean (+/-SD) birth length was -3.6 (1.4), the age at the start of the study was 8.1 (1.9) yr, and the height SD score (SDS) at the start of the study -3.0 (0.7). Seventeen of the 54 children were partially GH deficient (stimulated GH peak, 10-20 mU/liter). Fifteen non-GH-treated, non-GH-deficient, short children born SGA, with similar inclusion criteria, served as controls [mean (+/-SD) birth length, -3.3 (1.2); age at start, 7.8 (1.7) yr; height SDS at start, -2.6 (0.5)]. GH treatment resulted in an AH above -2 SDS in 85% of the children after a mean (+/-SD) GH treatment period of 7.8 (1.7) yr. The mean (SD) AH SDS was -1.1 (0.7) for group A and -0.9 (0.8) for group B, resulting from a mean (+/-SD) gain in height SDS of 1.8 (0.7) for group A and 2.1 (0.8) for group B. No significant differences between groups A and B were found for AH SDS (mean difference, 0.3 SDS; 95% confidence interval, -0.2, 0.6; P > 0.2) and gain in height SDS (mean difference, 0.3 SDS; 95% confidence interval, -0.1, 0.7; P > 0.1). When corrected for target height, the mean corrected AH SDS was -0.2 (0.8) for group A and -0.4 (0.9) for group B. The mean (+/-SD) AH SDS of the control group [-2.3 (0.7)] was significantly lower than that of the GH-treated group (P < 0.001). Multiple regression analysis indicated the following predictive variables for AH SDS: target height SDS, height SDS, and chronological age minus bone age (years) at the start of the study. GH dose had no significant effect. In conclusion, long-term continuous GH treatment in short children born SGA without signs of persistent catch-up growth leads to a normalization of AH, even with a GH dose of 3 IU/m(2).d ( approximately 0.033 mg/kg.d).

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                September 2005
                31 August 2005
                : 64
                : 1
                : 28-34
                aPaediatric Endocrinology Section, Children’s Hospital, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany; bDepartment of Paediatrics, St. Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, UK; cPfizer Inc., Stockholm, Sweden/New York, N.Y., USA; dDepartment of Paediatrics, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey, and eBaystate Medical Center Children’s Hospital, Tufts University of Medicine, Springfield, Mass., USA
                87325 Horm Res 2005;64:28–34
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, References: 43, Pages: 7
                Original Paper


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