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C E Higham, J D J Thomas, M Bidlingmaier, W M Drake and P J Trainer

Context

Clinical trials using 80 mg once weekly pegvisomant (pegV) in active acromegaly led to a 30% fall in serum IGF1. Subsequent studies demonstrated that daily administration of up to 40 mg/day achieved an IGF1 within reference range in 97% of patients. PegV has a half-life of >70 h suggesting weekly dosing may be possible but using higher doses than in the initial trials.

Objective

To determine the efficacy of weekly dosing of pegV.

Design

A two center, open-label prospective study in patients with acromegaly converted from a stable daily dose of pegV (median dose 15 mg daily (range 10–20 mg od), IGF1 normal for 3 months prior to inclusion) to twice-weekly (week 0–16) followed by once-weekly (week 16–32) administration.

Results

Seven patients (4M, age 57±7 years, 6/7 prior transsphenoidal surgery, 7/7 prior radiotherapy) were recruited. Six patients completed the twice-weekly and five patients both the twice-weekly and once-weekly administration. Headaches led to two patient withdrawals at 0+24 weeks. Mean pre-dose serum IGF1 levels remained stable with the different administration regimens (IGF1 baseline 145±39 ng/ml, twice-weekly 124±39 ng/ml and once-weekly 127±22 ng/ml) and all values were within age adjusted IGF1 reference range. PegV dose was reduced in two patients and five opted to continue weekly administration at trial termination. Safety and quality of life parameters remained stable.

Conclusions

Twice and once-weekly administration of pegV is effective in controlling serum IGF1 levels in acromegaly and although not formally assessed, continuation of weekly dosing in five patients at study conclusion suggests patient preference for this regimen.

Open access

D B Allen, P Backeljauw, M Bidlingmaier, B M K Biller, M Boguszewski, P Burman, G Butler, K Chihara, J Christiansen, S Cianfarani, P Clayton, D Clemmons, P Cohen, F Darendeliler, C Deal, D Dunger, E M Erfurth, J S Fuqua, A Grimberg, M Haymond, C Higham, K Ho, A R Hoffman, A Hokken-Koelega, G Johannsson, A Juul, J Kopchick, P Lee, M Pollak, S Radovick, L Robison, R Rosenfeld, R J Ross, L Savendahl, P Saenger, H Toft Sorensen, K Stochholm, C Strasburger, A Swerdlow and M Thorner

Recombinant human GH (rhGH) has been in use for 30 years, and over that time its safety and efficacy in children and adults has been subject to considerable scrutiny. In 2001, a statement from the GH Research Society (GRS) concluded that ‘for approved indications, GH is safe’; however, the statement highlighted a number of areas for on-going surveillance of long-term safety, including cancer risk, impact on glucose homeostasis, and use of high dose pharmacological rhGH treatment. Over the intervening years, there have been a number of publications addressing the safety of rhGH with regard to mortality, cancer and cardiovascular risk, and the need for long-term surveillance of the increasing number of adults who were treated with rhGH in childhood. Against this backdrop of interest in safety, the European Society of Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE), the GRS, and the Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) convened a meeting to reappraise the safety of rhGH. The ouput of the meeting is a concise position statement.