Background/Aims: With rising cure rates of childhood cancer, side effects of treatment are attracting increasing interest. The present analysis evaluates the influence of tumor localization, radiotherapy and chemotherapy on the age of menarche. Methods: 4,689 former pediatric oncology patients, diagnosed 1980–2004, were contacted in collaboration with the German Childhood Cancer Registry. Results: 1,036 out of 1,461 female participants reported their age at menarche and had an oncological diagnosis before menarche. The median age at menarche was 13 years, compared to 12.8 years in the German general population. A significant delay of menarche was seen in patients with pituitary radiation doses of ≧30 Gy (mean 13.6 years, SD 2.2) compared to <30 Gy (mean 12.5 years, SD 1.4, p = 0.05). Patients with additional spinal radiation were even older at menarche (mean 14.4 years, SD 2.5). Pelvic and pelvic-near radiation significantly delayed onset of menarche (mean 14.0 years, SD 1.9 and mean 14.3, SD 2.6, respectively, p < 0.001). Only some chemotherapeutic agents (carboplatin/cisplatin, etoposide) were associated with a menarcheal delay of <1 year. Conclusion: Overall, female childhood cancer survivors showed a normal menarcheal age. Pituitary radiation dosage of ≧30 Gy, spinal and pelvic radiotherapy were associated with a moderate delay in the occurrence of menarche.

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