Metabolic syndrome as cardiovascular risk factor in childhood cancer survivors

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43 Citations (Scopus)


Over the past decades, survival rates of childhood cancer have increased considerably from 5 to 30% in the early seventies to current rates exceeding 80%. This is due to the development of effective chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and stem cell transplantation, combined with an optimized stratification of therapy and better supportive care regimens. As a consequence, active surveillance strategies of late sequelae have been developed to improve the quality of survival. Several epidemiological studies have reported an increased incidence of (components of) metabolic syndrome (MetS) and cardiovascular disease in childhood cancer survivors (CCS). Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) after cranial radiotherapy (CRT) has been previously described as an important cause of MetS. New insights suggest a role for abdominal radiotherapy as a determinant for MetS as well. The role of other risk factors, such as specific chemotherapeutic agents, steroids, gonadal impairment, thyroid morbidity and genetics, warrants further investigation. This knowledge is important to define subgroups of CCS that are at risk to develop (subclinical) MetS features. These survivors might benefit from standard surveillance and early interventions, for example lifestyle and diet advice and medical treatment, thereby preventing the development of cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-141
Number of pages13
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Childhood cancer survivor
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Hypertension
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity


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