Long-term pulmonary function in survivors of childhood cancer

Academic Article


  • Purpose: This study was undertaken to determine the magnitude of pulmonary dysfunction in childhood cancer survivors when compared with healthy controls and the extent (and predictors) of decline over time. Patients and Methods: Survivors underwent baseline (t1) pulmonary function tests, followed by a second comprehensive evaluation (t2) after a median of 5 years (range, 1.0 to 10.3 years). Survivors were also compared with age- and sex-matched healthy controls at t2. Results: Median age at cancer diagnosis was 16.5 years (range, 0.2 to 21.9 years), and time from diagnosis to t2 was 17.1 years (range, 6.3 to 40.1 years). Compared with odds for healthy controls, the odds of restrictive defects were increased 6.5-fold (odds ratio [OR], 6.5; 95% CI, 1.5 to 28.4; P < .01), and the odds of diffusion abnormalities were increased 5.2-fold (OR, 5.2; 95% CI, 1.8 to 15.5; P < .01). Among survivors, age younger than 16 years at diagnosis (OR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.2 to 7.8; P = .02) and exposure to more than 20 Gy chest radiation (OR, 5.6; 95% CI, 1.5 to 21.0; P = .02, referent, no chest radiation) were associated with restrictive defects. Female sex (OR, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.7 to 9.5; P < .01) and chest radiation dose (referent: no chest radiation; ≤ 20 Gy: OR, 6.4; 95% CI, 1.7 to 24.4; P < .01; > 20 Gy: OR, 11.3; 95% CI, 2.6 to 49.5; P < .01) were associated with diffusion abnormalities. Among survivors with normal pulmonary function tests at t1, females and survivors treated with more than 20 Gy chest radiation demonstrated decline in diffusion function over time. Conclusion: Childhood cancer survivors exposed to pulmonary-toxic therapy are significantly more likely to have restrictive and diffusion defects when compared with healthy controls. Diffusion capacity declines with time after exposure to pulmonary-toxic therapy, particularly among females and survivors treated with high-dose chest radiation. These individuals could benefit from subsequent monitoring.
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    Author List

  • Armenian SH; Landier W; Francisco L; Herrera C; Mills G; Siyahian A; Supab N; Wilson K; Wolfson JA; Horak D
  • Start Page

  • 1592
  • End Page

  • 1600
  • Volume

  • 33
  • Issue

  • 14