Treatment of acromegaly with the growth hormone-receptor antagonist pegvisomant NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE Trainer, P. J., Drake, W. M., Katznelson, L., Freda, P. U., Herman-Bonert, V., van der Lely, A. J., Dimaraki, E. V., Stewart, P. M., Friend, K. E., Vance, M. L., Besser, G. M., Scarlett, J. A., Thorner, M. O., Parkinson, C., Klibanski, A., Powell, J. S., Barkan, A. L., Sheppard, M. C., Maldonado, M., Rose, D. R., Clemmons, D. R., Johannson, G., Bengtsson, B. A., Stavrou, S., Kleinberg, D. L., Cook, D. M., Phillips, L. S., Bidlingmaier, M., Strasburger, C. J., Hackett, S., Zib, K., Bennett, W. F., Davis, R. J. 2000; 342 (16): 1171-1177


Patients with acromegaly are currently treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and drugs to reduce hypersecretion of growth hormone, but the treatments may be ineffective and have adverse effects. Pegvisomant is a genetically engineered growth hormone-receptor antagonist that blocks the action of growth hormone.We conducted a 12-week, randomized, double-blind study of three daily doses of pegvisomant (10 mg, 15 mg, and 20 mg) and placebo, given subcutaneously, in 112 patients with acromegaly.The mean (+/-SD) serum concentration of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) decreased from base line by 4.0+/-16.8 percent in the placebo group, 26.7+/-27.9 percent in the group that received 10 mg of pegvisomant per day, 50.1+/-26.7 percent in the group that received 15 mg of pegvisomant per day, and 62.5+/-21.3 percent in the group that received 20 mg of pegvisomant per day (P<0.001 for the comparison of each pegvisomant group with placebo), and the concentrations became normal in 10 percent, 54 percent, 81 percent, and 89 percent of patients, respectively (P<0.001 for each comparison with placebo). Among patients treated with 15 mg or 20 mg of pegvisomant per day, there were significant decreases in ring size, soft-tissue swelling, the degree of excessive perspiration, and fatigue. The score fortotal symptoms and signs of acromegaly decreased significantly in all groups receiving pegvisomant (P< or =0.05). The incidence of adverse effects was similar in all groups.On the basis of these preliminary results, treatment of patients who have acromegaly with a growth hormone-receptor antagonist results in a reduction in serum IGF-I concentrations and in clinical improvement.

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