Background: Children receiving Total Body Irradiation (TBI) in preparation for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) are at risk for Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD), which sometimes severely compromises their Final Height (FH). To better represent the impact of such therapies on growth we apply a mathematical model, which accounts both for the gompertzian-like growth trend and the hormone-related 'spurts', and evaluate how the parameter values estimated on the children undergoing TBI differ from those of the matched normal population. Methods: 25 patients long-term childhood lymphoblastic and myeloid acute leukaemia survivors followed at Pediatric Onco-Hematology, Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Division, Regina Margherita Children's Hospital (Turin, Italy) were retrospectively analysed for assessing the influence of TBI on their longitudinal growth and for validating a new method to estimate the GH therapy effects. Six were treated with GH therapy after a GHD diagnosis. Results: We show that when TBI was performed before puberty overall growth and pubertal duration were significantly impaired, but such growth limitations were completely reverted in the small sample (6 over 25) of children who underwent GH replacement therapies. Conclusion: Since in principle the model could account for any additional growth 'spurt' induced by therapy, it may become a useful 'simulation' tool for paediatricians for comparing the predicted therapy effectiveness depending on its timing and dosage.
Galletto, C., Gliozzi, A., Nucera, D., Bertorello, N., Biasin, E., Corrias, A., … Guiot, C. (2014). Growth impairment after TBI of leukemia survivors children: A model- based investigation. Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-4682-11-44