Safety of growth hormone replacement in survivors of cancer and intra-cranial and pituitary tumours: A consensus statement

Margaret Boguszewski, Cesar L Boguszewski, Wassim Chemaililly, Laurie E Cohen, Judith Gebauer, Claire E Higham, Andrew R Hoffman, Michel Polak, Kevin C J Yuen, Nathalie Alos, Zoltan Antal, Martin Bidlingmaier, Beverley M K Biller, George Brabant, Catherine S Y Choong, Stefano Cianfarani, Peter Clayton, Regis Coutant, Adriane A Cardoso-Demartini, Alberto FernandezAdda Grimberg, Kolbeinn Guðmundsson, Jaime Guevara-Aguirre, Ken Ho, Reiko Horikawa, A M Isidori, Jens Otto Lunde Jørgensen, Peter Kamenicky, Niki Karavitaki*, John Kopchick, Maya Lodish, Xiaoping Luo, Ann McCormack, Lillian Meacham, Shlomo Melmed, Sogol Mostoufi Moab, Hermann Müller, Sebastian Neggers, Manoel Aguiar Oliveira, Keiichi Ozono, Patricia Pennisi, Vera Popovic, Sally Radovick, Lars Savendahl, Philippe Touraine, Hanneke M van Santen, Gudmundur Johannsson

*Corresponding author for this work

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Growth hormone (GH) has been used for over 35 years, and its safety and efficacy has been studied extensively. Experimental studies showing the permissive role of GH/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) in carcinogenesis have raised concerns regarding the safety of GH replacement in children and adults who have received treatment for cancer and those with intracranial and pituitary tumours. A consensus statement was produced to guide decision-making on GH replacement in children and adult survivors of cancer, in those treated for intracranial and pituitary tumours and in patients with increased cancer risk. With the support of the European Society of Endocrinology, the Growth Hormone Research Society convened a Workshop, where 55 international key opinion leaders representing 10 professional societies were invited to participate. This consensus statement utilized: (1) a critical review paper produced before the Workshop, (2) five plenary talks, (3) evidence-based comments from four breakout groups, and (4) discussions during report-back sessions. Current evidence reviewed from the proceedings from the Workshop does not support an association between GH replacement and primary tumour or cancer recurrence. The effect of GH replacement on secondary neoplasia risk is minor compared to host- and tumour treatment-related factors. There is no evidence for an association between GH replacement and increased mortality from cancer amongst GH-deficient childhood cancer survivors. Patients with pituitary tumour or craniopharyngioma remnants receiving GH replacement do not need to be treated or monitored differently than those not receiving GH. GH replacement might be considered in GH-deficient adult cancer survivors in remission after careful individual risk/benefit analysis. In children with cancer predisposition syndromes, GH treatment is generally contraindicated but may be considered cautiously in select patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)P35-P52
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2022


  • Adult
  • Child
  • Growth Hormone
  • Human Growth Hormone/adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local/chemically induced
  • Pituitary Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Survivors


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