Background: Growth hormone (GH) has been used successfully in the treatment of short stature secondary to GH deficiency in survivors of childhood brain tumours. There has been concern that GH might increase the risk of recurrence. Aim: To analyse KIGS (Pfizer International Growth Database) with respect to tumour recurrence in patients with brain tumours. Methods: Data for tumour recurrence were analysed retrospectively in 1038 patients with craniopharyngiomas, 655 with medulloblastomas, 113 with ependymomas, 297 with germinomas, and 400 with astrocytomas or gliomas. All patients had received recombinant human GH (Genotropin®, Pfizer Inc.). Results: Recurrence-free survival rates were 63% at a follow-up of 10.3 y in craniopharyngioma, 69% in 9.1 y in the glial tumours, 71% in 7.4 y in germinomas, 92% in 4.6 y in medulloblastomas and 89% in 2.5 y in ependymomas. Dose of GH and treatment modalities did not differ significantly between patients with and without recurrence.
Conclusion: Tumour recurrence rates in surviving patients with brain tumours receiving GH treatment do not appear to be increased compared with published reports. However, longer follow-up regarding recurrences and secondary neoplasms remains essential.