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Endocrine Late Effects in Survivors of Cancer in Adolescence and Young Adulthood: A Danish Population-Based Cohort Study

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Importance: As survival rates from cancer have improved dramatically over the last decades, there is a need to explore the long-term consequences. Adolescents and young adults with cancer are at risk for several therapy-related late effects; however, these have not been studied extensively.

Objective: To investigate the lifetime risks of endocrine late effects of cancer and cancer treatment in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors.

Design, Setting, and Participants: This Danish, nationwide, population-based cohort study was conducted from January 1, 1976, through December 31, 2009, and included follow-up from January 1, 1977, through December 31, 2010. A total of 32 548 one-year cancer survivors diagnosed at ages 15 to 39 years were identified using the Danish Cancer Registry and 188 728 cancer-free comparison participants matched by year of birth and sex were randomly chosen from the Danish Civil Registration system. Analyses were performed from July 3, 2015, to February 27, 2018.

Exposures: Individuals in the survivor cohort were diagnosed with a first primary cancer at ages 15 to 39 years and received treatment according to recommendations and guidelines at time of diagnosis.

Main Outcomes and Measures: By linkage to the National Patient Register, all hospital contacts for endocrine diseases were identified, and standardized hospitalization rate ratios (RRs) and absolute excess risks (AERs) were calculated.

Results: A total of 32 548 adolescent and young adult 1-year cancer survivors (14 021 [43.1%] male) in the Danish Patient Registry were followed up for 379 157 person-years (median [range]: 10 [0-34] years) and 188 728 cancer-free participants (82 669 [43.8%] male) for comparison were followed up for 2 958 994 person-years (median [range]: 15 [0-34] years). A total of 2129 survivors (6.5%) had at least 1 hospital contact for an endocrine disease, while 1232.0 (3.8%) were expected, yielding a statistically significant increased RR of 1.73 (95% CI, 1.65-1.81). The RRs were highest for testicular hypofunction (75.12; 95% CI, 45.99-122.70), ovarian hypofunction (14.65; 95% CI, 8.29-25.86), and pituitary hypofunction (11.14; 95% CI, 8.09-15.34). The leading reasons for hospital contacts were thyroid disease (38.0% of total AER), testicular dysfunction (17.1% of total AER), and diabetes (14.4% of total AER). Leukemia survivors were at a high risk for any endocrine disease (RR, 3.97; 95% CI, 3.10-5.09), while Hodgkin lymphoma survivors (RR, 3.06; 95% CI, 2.62-3.57) had the highest disease-specific excess risk for hypothyroidism (AER, 362 per 100 000 person-years; 95% CI, 280-443 per 100 000 person-years).

Conclusions and Relevance: The increased risk for endocrine diseases in adolescent and young adult cancer survivors indicates the need for counseling and follow-up, and could guide future preventive measures and surveillance strategies. Additional studies are required to determine exact associations between treatment regimens and endocrine diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJAMA network open
Volume1
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)e180349
ISSN2574-3805
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

ID: 56314097