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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2007 Jul;63(1):32-46. Epub 2007 Mar 6.

Changes in body composition after childhood cancer treatment: impact on future health status--a review.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, Subdivision Paediatric Oncology, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands. c.a.j.brouer@bkk.umcg.nl

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To describe data on changes in body composition in childhood cancer survivors. Underlying mechanisms in development of obesity are addressed, in order to discuss intervention strategies.

METHODS:

A systematic literature search was undertaken with a number of search terms.

RESULTS:

Female survivors of ALL and brain tumours, especially if treated with cranial irradiation, showed a higher prevalence of obesity compared with the general population, while survivors of other malignancies had a higher prevalence of underweight. Influences of corticosteroid treatment and cytostatics on body composition are uncertain. Diminished physical activity, early adiposity rebound (<5 years of age) and/or hypothalamic involvement of tumour or treatment, and subsequent growth hormone deficiency, may play a role in the development of obesity in childhood cancer survivors.

CONCLUSION:

Longitudinal prospective studies in more extensive cohorts are necessary to estimate actual prevalence and facilitate the unravelling of the underlying mechanisms in change of body composition.

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