Growth Hormone Therapy and Tumor Recurrence: Findings in Children With Brain Neoplasms and Hypopituitarism

Silva A. Arslanian, Dorothy J. Becker, Peter A. Lee, Allan L. Drash, Thomas P. Foley

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77 Scopus citations


We report the outcome of growth hormone (GH) therapy in 34 children (17 boys and 17 girls) with brain tumors in whom hypopituitarism developed. The types of tumors included the following: craniopharyngiomas (18); germinomas (four); astrocytomas (three); chromophobe adenomas (three); medulloblastomas (two); glioma (one); dermoid (one); retinoblastoma (one); and metastatic rhabdomyosarcoma from the pelvis (one). Ninety-four percent of the patients were GH deficient post–tumor therapy, which consisted of surgery with and without radiotherapy. Twenty-four of 34 patients received GH. Eight of 24 patients receiving GH had recurrence of tumor; 16 were tumor free eight to 72 months after initial therapy. Eleven patients had 12 recurrences. Patients with tumor recurrence had a considerably lower growth rate during the first year of GH therapy than those without recurrence (mean, 3.5 ± 1.3 cm/yr v 6.2 ± 2.5 cm/yr). Three of 11 patients with recurrence had not received GH therapy; however, one was receiving testosterone intramuscularly monthly at the time of a second recurrence. Thus, 24 of 34 patients with brain tumors and hypopituitarism received GH therapy. Eight (33%) of 24 had tumor recurrence, compared with three (30%) of ten who did not receive GH. The data suggest that GH therapy is probably not associated with increased rate of tumor recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-350
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Diseases of Children
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1985

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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