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Free access

Nèle F Lenders, Ann I McCormack and Ken K Y Ho

Gonadal steroids modulate the effects of GH, with oestrogens attenuating and androgens augmenting GH action. Whether these divergent effects influence the clinical manifestation, management and prognosis of acromegaly have not been carefully reviewed. This review examines whether there is a gender difference in epidemiology, presentation, quality of life (QoL), morbidity, treatments and mortality of acromegaly. Acromegaly is more common in women who present at an older age with longer diagnostic delay. At presentation, women have a higher GH relative to IGF-1 level than men. QoL is more adversely affected in women both before and after treatment. Prevalence of hypertension and diabetes are greater in women than in men with acromegaly. Treatment outcomes with SSAs are comparable between sexes, but women may require a higher dose of pegvisomant for equivalent response. Mortality in untreated acromegaly is more profoundly affected in women; however, improved treatments in recent decades have resulted in normalisation of standard mortality ratios in both sexes. We conclude that gender does matter in the management of acromegaly, with women presenting later in life, with greater diagnostic delay, higher prevalence of comorbidities and experiencing worse QoL.

Free access

Sunita M C De Sousa, Mark J McCabe, Kathy Wu, Tony Roscioli, Velimir Gayevskiy, Katelyn Brook, Lesley Rawlings, Hamish S Scott, Tanya J Thompson, Peter Earls, Anthony J Gill, Mark J Cowley, Marcel E Dinger and Ann I McCormack


Familial pituitary tumour syndromes (FPTS) account for 5% of pituitary adenomas. Multi-gene analysis via next-generation sequencing (NGS) may unveil greater prevalence and inform clinical care. We aimed to identify germline variants in selected patients with pituitary adenomas using a targeted NGS panel.


We undertook a nationwide cross-sectional study of patients with pituitary adenomas with onset ≤40 years of age and/or other personal/family history of endocrine neoplasia. A custom NGS panel was performed on germline DNA to interrogate eight FPTS genes. Genome data were analysed via a custom bioinformatic pipeline, and validation was performed by Sanger sequencing. Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) was performed in cases with heightened suspicion for MEN1, CDKN1B and AIP mutations. The main outcomes were frequency and pathogenicity of rare variants in AIP, CDKN1B, MEN1, PRKAR1A, SDHA, SDHB, SDHC and SDHD.


Forty-four patients with pituitary tumours, 14 of whom had a personal history of other endocrine tumours and/or a family history of pituitary or other endocrine tumours, were referred from endocrine tertiary-referral centres across Australia. Eleven patients (25%) had a rare variant across the eight FPTS genes tested: AIP (p.A299V, p.R106C, p.F269F, p.R304X, p.K156K, p.R271W), MEN1 (p.R176Q), SDHB (p.A2V, p.S8S), SDHC (p.E110Q) and SDHD (p.G12S), with two patients harbouring dual variants. Variants were classified as pathogenic or of uncertain significance in 9/44 patients (20%). No deletions/duplications were identified in MEN1, CDKN1B or AIP.


A high yield of rare variants in genes implicated in FPTS can be found in selected patients using an NGS panel. It may also identify individuals harbouring more than one rare variant.

Open access

Peter J Trainer, John D C Newell-Price, John Ayuk, Simon J B Aylwin, Aled Rees, William Drake, Philippe Chanson, Thierry Brue, Susan M Webb, Carmen Fajardo, Javier Aller, Ann I McCormack, David J Torpy, George Tachas, Lynne Atley, David Ryder and Martin Bidlingmaier


ATL1103 is a second-generation antisense oligomer targeting the human growth hormone (GH) receptor. This phase 2 randomised, open-label, parallel-group study assessed the potential of ATL1103 as a treatment for acromegaly.


Twenty-six patients with active acromegaly (IGF-I >130% upper limit of normal) were randomised to subcutaneous ATL1103 200 mg either once or twice weekly for 13 weeks and monitored for a further 8-week washout period.


The primary efficacy measures were change in IGF-I at week 14, compared to baseline and between cohorts. For secondary endpoints (IGFBP3, acid labile subunit (ALS), GH, growth hormone-binding protein (GHBP)), comparison was between baseline and week 14. Safety was assessed by reported adverse events.

Results and conclusions

Baseline median IGF-I was 447 and 649 ng/mL in the once- and twice-weekly groups respectively. Compared to baseline, at week 14, twice-weekly ATL1103 resulted in a median fall in IGF-I of 27.8% (P = 0.0002). Between cohort comparison at week 14 demonstrated the median fall in IGF-I to be 25.8% (P = 0.0012) greater with twice-weekly dosing. In the twice-weekly cohort, IGF-I was still declining at week 14, and remained lower at week 21 than at baseline by a median of 18.7% (P = 0.0005). Compared to baseline, by week 14, IGFBP3 and ALS had declined by a median of 8.9% (P = 0.027) and 16.7% (P = 0.017) with twice-weekly ATL1103; GH had increased by a median of 46% at week 14 (P = 0.001). IGFBP3, ALS and GH did not change with weekly ATL1103. GHBP fell by a median of 23.6% and 48.8% in the once- and twice-weekly cohorts (P = 0.027 and P = 0.005) respectively. ATL1103 was well tolerated, although 84.6% of patients experienced mild-to-moderate injection-site reactions. This study provides proof of concept that ATL1103 is able to significantly lower IGF-I in patients with acromegaly.