Objective: To evaluate the association of somatic growth from birth through diagnosis with the development of childhood cancer. Methods: The weights and heights of 1718 children with cancers were determined and converted into standard deviation (SD) scores, both at birth and at diagnosis, by using the means and SD values of the general population. Results: Among patients with neuroblastoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the percentages of children with body weight and height over mean + 2 SDs were significantly higher at diagnosis than the expected value in the general population. The percentage of children with neuroblastoma and body weight over mean + 2 SD increased significantly from birth through diagnosis (P = .04). Although the medians of weight SD scores decreased from birth through diagnosis in patients with representative cancers except for neuroblastoma, the value significantly increased in patients with neuroblastoma diagnosed before 1 year of age (P = .03), especially in those whose cancer was detected by mass screening at 6 months of age (P < .01). Conclusions: Rapid somatic growth from birth through diagnosis in patients with neuroblastoma diagnosed before 1 year of age suggests a possible involvement of certain growth factors in these patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health