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Growth Hormone Disorders
Journal Scan

No link between GH replacement and primary tumor or cancer recurrence

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There does not appear to be an association between growth hormone (GH) replacement and primary tumor or cancer recurrence, according to a new consensus statement.

Although the safety of GH therapy has been studied extensively, experimental studies raised the concern over the safety of GH replacement in patients who have received cancer treatment and those with intracranial and pituitary tumors due to its potential role in carcinogenesis.

Current evidence was reviewed by 55 international key opinion leaders at a Workshop convened by the Growth Hormone Research Society with support from the European Society of Endocrinology.

Additional findings from the consensus statement include:

-The secondary risk of neoplasia is minor compared to host and tumor treatment-related factors.
-Among childhood cancer survivors who are GH-deficient, there is no evidence that GH replacement increases mortality from cancer.
-Patients with pituitary tumor or craniopharyngioma remnants treated with GH replacement can be treated or monitored the same as patients not receiving GH.
-An individual risk/benefit analysis should be completed before considering GH therapy in GH-deficient adult cancer survivors in remission.
-GH treatment is generally contraindicated in children with cancer predisposition syndromes; it can be considered cautiously in select patients.

Reference
Boguszewski MCS, Boguszewski CL, Chemaitilly W, et al. Safety of growth hormone replacement in survivors of cancer and intra-cranial and pituitary tumours – A consensus statement. Eur J Endocrinol. 2022;EJE-21-1186. doi: 10.1530/EJE-21-1186. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35319491.

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