Childhood cancer survivors are at increased risk of many long-term treatment-related sequel such as second cancers, cardiovascular disease, and pulmonary complications. Certain treatments seem to influence the risk of becoming overweight, obese, or underweight, and abnormal body mass index (BMI) is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Because BMI is modifiable, it is important to identify treatment and patient-related factors contributing to altered BMI. New research areas include exploring how genetic susceptibility through population polymorphism may contribute to BMI. Illuminating potential gene-environment interactions that influence obesity and underweight might be more readily accomplished in a study of high-risk individuals (i.e., childhood cancer survivors) with well-characterized exposures. The new Childhood Cancer Research Network in the Children's Oncology Group, when fully implemented, should make it less difficult in the future to recruit the large numbers of patients needed for such studies.
- Childhood cancer
- Gene polymorphisms