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IMAGE: Ralph Vatner, MD, PhD, in a proton radiotherapy gantry at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center/UC Health Proton Therapy Center. view more 

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CINCINNATI–In a new study, University of Cincinnati (UC) researchers, in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital, have detailed the effect of radiation exposure on the development of hormone deficiency in pediatric and young adult patients treated for brain tumors.

These results, published in the Aug. 17, 2018 online edition of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, provide evidence that further supports minimizing the dose of radiotherapy to the hypothalamus and pituitary gland and will help predict the risk of hormonal complications for those being treated with radiotherapy for brain tumors.

The hypothalamus is a region of the forebrain that coordinates the activity of the pituitary gland, and together, they regulate many of the hormones in the body that control growth, metabolism, adrenal function and gonadal function.

“There isn’t much data defining the dose response of radiation therapy to the hypothalamus and pituitary gland in pediatric and young adult patients with brain tumors,” says Ralph Vatner, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology and lead author on this study. “We examined the correlation between radiation therapy dosage

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