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X Zhou, KY Loke, CC Pillai, HK How, HK Yap and KO Lee

OBJECTIVE: Children with steroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome (SDNS), despite being in remission on glucocorticoids, continue to have growth retardation and short stature. The mechanism is uncertain as both chronic glucocorticosteroids and the nephrotic syndrome may independently affect growth. We investigated the changes in the IGFs and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) in a group of short SDNS children, and studied the changes prospectively with 1 year's treatment with GH. DESIGN AND METHODS: Total and 'free' IGF-I, IGFBP-3 and acid-labile subunit (ALS) were studied in eight SDNS boys (mean age=12.6 years; mean bone age=9.1 years) on long term oral prednisolone (mean dose 0.46 mg/kg per day) before, during, and after, 1 year's treatment with GH (mean dose 0.32 mg/kg per week). Pretreatment comparisons were made with two control groups, one matched for bone age (CBA; mean bone age=9.2 years), and another for chronological age (CCA; mean chronological age=13 years). Subsequently, three monthly measurements of serum and urine IGFBPs were carried out in the GH-treated SDNS patients using Western ligand blot and Western immunoblot. RESULTS: Pre-treatment serum total IGF-I levels and the IGF-I/IGFBP-3 ratio were elevated significantly in SDNS compared with CBA, and were similar to CCA. Serum free IGF-I levels were elevated significantly compared with both control groups, but serum IGFBP-3 did not differ significantly. Urinary IGFBP-2, IGFBP-3 and ALS were detectable in the SDNS children only. With GH treatment, IGF-I and IGFBP-3, but not IGF-II, increased significantly compared with pre-treatment values, and returned to baseline after cessation of GH treatment. Urinary IGFBPs did not change significantly with GH treatment. CONCLUSIONS: There is persistent urinary loss of IGFBP-2, IGFBP-3 and ALS in children with SDNS in remission with growth retardation. However, the significant elevation in serum IGF-I suggests that glucocorticoid-induced resistance to IGF is the main factor responsible for the persistent growth retardation in these children. Exogenous GH was able to overcome this resistance by further increasing serum IGF-I.

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KK Kaulsay, EH Ng, CY Ji, GH Ho, TC Aw and KO Lee

OBJECTIVE: Recent studies have demonstrated the presence of the IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) and prostate specific antigen (PSA), an IGFBP protease. in human breast tissue. We sought to investigate the differences in serum IGFs, IGFBP-1, -3 and -6, and PSA between patients with surgically proven breast cancer and patients with benign breast disease. DESIGN AND METHODS: Concentrations of IGFs, IGFBP-1, -3 and -6, and PSA were determined in the sera from 57 patients with breast cancer (CA), and 46 women with benign breast disease (BBD) using immunoassays for IGFs and IGFBPs and an ultrasensitive ELISA for PSA. RESULTS: The mean (+/- S.E.M.) serum IGFBP-6 level in the CA group, 127 (16) ng/ml, was statistically significantly lower than in the BBD group, 157 (10) ng/ml (P = 0.016). Patients with CA had an elevated geometric mean serum PSA level of 0.018 (range: 0.0015-0.107) ng/ml, compared with 0.007 (range: 0.0015-0.019) ng/ml in women with BBD (P = 0.025). Mean serum IGFBP-1 concentrations were significantly lower in the CA group, 16 (2) ng/ml, versus 37 (4) ng/ml in the BBD group (P = 0.001). Mean serum IGFBP-3 concentrations were also lower in the CA group versus the BBD group, at 1981 (65) ng/ml, versus 2603 (140) ng/ml (P = 0.002) respectively. In the CA group, statistically significant correlations between PSA and IGFBP-6 (r = 0.413; P = 0.001), and between PSA and IGFBP-1 (r = -0.329; P = 0.021) were seen. Differences in IGF-I and -II between the two groups were not statistically significant. CONCLUSION: Lower serum concentrations of IGFBP-6, -3 and -1, but higher PSA concentrations were seen in the breast cancer group, and collectively these would suggest that there is an increase in bioavailable IGF-I in breast cancer.

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Jin Soon Hwang, Hae Sang Lee, Woo Yeong Chung, Heon-Seok Han, Dong-Kyu Jin, Ho-Seong Kim, Cheol-Woo Ko, Byung-Churl Lee, Dae-Yeol Lee, Kee-Hyoung Lee, Jeh-Hoon Shin, Byung-Kyu Suh, Han-Wook Yoo, Hyi-Jeong Ji, Jin-Hwa Lee, Yoon Ju Bae, Duk-Hee Kim and Sei Won Yang

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of LB03002, a sustained-release human GH (SR-hGH), compared with that of daily rhGH for 12 months in children with GH deficiency (GHD).

Methods

A total of 73 children with GHD were screened and 63 eligible subjects were randomized in a 1:1 ratio of LB03002 (SR-hGH) to daily rhGH treatment group. LB03002 was administered once weekly at a dose of 0.5 mg/kg while daily rhGH was administered for 6 consecutive days with equally divided doses to make a total of 0.21 mg/kg per week. Treatments were given for 12 months by s.c. injections. Injection site reactions and adverse events were investigated throughout the study period.

Results

The mean (s.d.) height velocity (HV) showed a clinically significant increase after the 6-month treatment: 3.00 (1.15) cm/year at screening to 9.78 (1.98) cm/year at 6 months in the LB03002 group; 2.39 (1.63) cm/year at screening to 10.56 (2.65) cm/year at 6 months in the daily rhGH group. The increased HV at 12 months was still maintained in both the groups: 9.06 (1.63) cm/year at 12 months in the LB03002 group; 9.72 (2.32) cm/year at 12 months in the daily rhGH group. Most of the adverse drug reactions were mild and tolerable. No subjects were withdrawn due to adverse events.

Conclusion

Weekly injection of LB03002 at a dose of 0.5 mg/kg per week was confirmed to have comparable efficacy to daily injection of rhGH at a dose of 0.21 mg/kg per week. Both formulations were well tolerated.