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An update on the treatment of acromegaly

Authors Edling KL, Heaney AP

Published Date February 2013 Volume 2013:3 Pages 1—11


Received 9 August 2012, Accepted 8 October 2012, Published 26 February 2013

Kari L Edling,1 Anthony P Heaney1,2

1Department of Medicine, 2Department of Neurosurgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Abstract: Acromegaly is caused by pituitary somatotroph hypersecretion of growth hormone leading to elevated hepatic-derived and local levels of insulin-like growth factor-1. It is associated with increased morbidity and mortality due primarily to cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus. Normalization of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 levels has been associated with decreased morbidity from metabolic and cardiovascular effects, as well as reduced overall mortality in epidemiologic studies. Many patients experience a delay in obtaining a diagnosis, have pituitary macroadenomas at presentation, and accordingly, a significant number will not be cured by tumor surgical resection alone. Adjunctive radiation therapy cannot always offer biochemical and clinical disease control and carries a 40% risk of partial or total pituitary failure in the medium term. Several monotherapies or combination medical therapies are currently available for both primary and adjuvant acromegaly treatment, and include long-acting somatostatin analogs, the growth hormone receptor antagonist pegvisomant, and dopamine agonists. Next generation somatostatin analogs and new drug delivery methods of existing agents are in ongoing clinical studies. This paper will review current and novel therapies under development for acromegaly.

Keywords: acromegaly, growth hormone, pituitary tumors, somatostatin analog, pasireotide, pegvisomant

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