No Evidence of Overweight in Long-Term Survivors of Childhood Cancer After Glucocorticoid Treatment.

Belle, Fabiën N; Kasteler, Rahel; Schindera, Christina; Bochud, Murielle; Ammann, Roland A; von der Weid, Nicolas X; Kuehni, Claudia E; Oncology Group (SPOG), Swiss Pediatric (2018). No Evidence of Overweight in Long-Term Survivors of Childhood Cancer After Glucocorticoid Treatment. Cancer, 124(17), pp. 3576-3585. John Wiley & Sons 10.1002/cncr.31599

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Glucocorticoids can lead to weight gain during cancer treatment, but to the authors' knowledge, little is known regarding their long-term effects in childhood cancer survivors (CCS).


As part of the Swiss Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, the authors sent a questionnaire to CCS aged <21 years at diagnosis who were residing in Switzerland, had survived ≥5 years, and were aged 15 to 45 years at the time of the survey. Cumulative doses of glucocorticoids were assessed from medical records and study protocols and body mass index was calculated from self-reported height and weight at the time of the survey. The authors compared the prevalence of overweight between CCS, their siblings, and the general population (Swiss Health Survey [SHS]) and investigated the association between overweight and treatment-related risk factors using multivariable logistic regression.


The study included 1936 CCS, 546 siblings, and 9591 SHS participants. The median age of the CCS at the time of the survey was 24 years (interquartile range, 20-31 years) and the median time since diagnosis was 17 years (interquartile range, 12-22 years). At the time of the survey, approximately 26% of CCS were overweight, a percentage that was comparable to that among siblings (24%) and the SHS participants (25%). The prevalence of overweight was 24% in CCS treated with glucocorticoids only (686 CCS), 37% in those treated with cranial radiotherapy (CRT) (127 CCS), and 49% in those who received treatment with both glucocorticoids and CRT (101 CCS) (P < .001). The authors found no evidence of a dose-response relationship between cumulative glucocorticoid doses and overweight and no evidence that CRT modified the effect of the cumulative glucocorticoid dose on overweight.


The results of the current study suggest that glucocorticoids used for the treatment of childhood cancer are not associated with long-term risk of overweight.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB)

UniBE Contributor:

Belle, Fabiën, Kasteler, Rahel, Schindera, Christina, Ammann, Roland, Kühni, Claudia


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




John Wiley & Sons




Anette van Dorland

Date Deposited:

28 Aug 2018 14:07

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:17

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Europe Swiss Childhood Cancer Registry childhood cancer survivors cranial radiotherapy (CRT) late effects obesity steroids




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