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Growth Hormone Deficiency

Growth hormone replacement therapy safe in cancer survivors with growth hormone deficiency

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Growth hormone replacement therapy (GHT) is a safe and effective treatment for growth hormone deficiency (GHD) in cancer survivors and patients with tumors of the pituitary region, according to a new study. Although concerns about the safety of GHT remain, careful consideration of individual risk factors and a thorough discussion with the patient and their family can help ensure that survivors receive the best possible care.

A  recent review provided an overview of the long-term sequelae and safety of GHT in survivors of cancer and patients with tumors of the sellar region. The review identifies predominantly reassuring results regarding the safety of GHT in survivors, although the authors note the limitations of some studies and the limited information available on adult cancer survivors.

The review found no evidence of an increased risk of second neoplasms, recurrences, or mortality due to GHT in particular. However, the authors caution that survivors are already at an increased risk for these outcomes due to host-, disease-, and treatment-related factors. Therefore, careful individual risk/benefit analysis and open discussion with patients and their families are crucial when considering GHT for survivors.

The positive effects of GHT must also be taken into account, particularly given the morbidity associated with untreated GHD in cancer survivors. The authors suggest that GHT can be considered in survivors after careful consideration of individual risk factors and a thorough discussion with the patient and their family.

Reference
Bolier M, Van der Lelij AJ, Janssens G, et al. Long term safety of growth hormone replacement therapy in survivors of cancer and tumors of the pituitary region. Endocr Relat Cancer. 2023;ERC-23-0026. doi: 10.1530/ERC-23-0026. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37043373.

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