Author(s): Adriana Aparecida SivieroMiac, Angela Maria SpinolaCastro, Gil GuerraJunior
As childhood cancer treatment has become more effective, survival rates have improved, and a number of complications have been described while many of these patients reach adulthood. Obesity is a well-recognized late effect, and its metabolic effects may lead to cardiovascular disease. Currently, studies concerning overweight have focused on acute lymphocytic leukemia and brain tumors, since they are at risk for hypothalamic-pituitary axis damage secondary to cancer therapies (cranial irradiation, chemotherapy, and brain surgery) or to primary tumor location. Obesity and cancer have metabolic syndrome features in common. Thus, it remains controversial if overweight is a cause or consequence of cancer, and to date additional mechanisms involving adipose tissue and hypothalamic derangements have been considered, comprising premature adiposity rebound, hyperinsulinemia, leptin regulation, and the role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma. Overall, further research is still necessary to better understand the relationship between adipogenesis and hypothalamic control deregulation following cancer therapy.