Christina Wei, Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist, Elizabeth Crowne, Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist. The impact of childhood cancer and its treatment onpuberty and subsequent hypothalamic pituitary and gonadal function, in both boys and girls
Its Many Disguises. Best Practice & Research Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 33 (2019) 101291.
Childhood cancer survivors (CCS) are at an increased risk of endocrine disorders. Disorders of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis are a particular concern because of their impact on pubertal development and future fertility and may be of central (hypothalamic or pituitary damage) or primary (gonadal) origin. Hypogonadism may present as pubertal disorders during adolescence and subsequent infertility in adulthood but should be anticipated to ensure appropriate surveillance is in place to address these issues at an appropriate age. Those at risk of HPG axis dysfunction include those with tumours primarily affecting the
hypothalamus, pituitary or gonads themselves or due to their treatment with surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. CCS who
have had cranial irradiation of more than 30 Gy are at risk of gonadotrophin deficiency. Those who have had gonadotoxic chemotherapy, especially alkylating agents or radiotherapy to the gonads are at risk of primary gonadal failure. HSCT survivors who have had chemotherapy and total body irradiation are at risk of primary gonadal failure but may also have gonadotrophin deficiency.
Understanding those at risk is essential to appropriate counselling and long-term follow-up. This chapter gives an overview on the impact of childhood cancer and its treatment on puberty, gonadal function and fertility in childhood cancer survivors.