ACROSTUDY is an observational registry intended to collect safety and efficacy data on pegvisomant therapy. A total of 792 patients have been enrolled, of whom 83% had commenced pegvisomant prior to recruitment. The mean follow-up is 1.66 years with the mean duration of pegvisomant therapy 3.31 years representing 2625 patient years of treatment. About 90% of patients were on once daily pegvisomant, and 67% were on monotherapy. Disappointingly, IGF1 was normalised in <70% of patients; furthermore, in 80% of patients with an elevated IGF1, the daily dose of pegvisomant was 20 mg or less. A total of 56 serious adverse events (AEs) were reported, of which 13 were related to pegvisomant. A total of 276 AEs were reported, of which 56 were considered related to pegvisomant. The AEs most frequently attributed to pegvisomant were disturbed liver function tests and injection site reactions. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was available in 684 patients. A total of 411 patients had at least one MRI on pegvisomant compared with a baseline. In 31 patients, a decrease in tumour size has been reported, of whom 20 had previously received radiotherapy. An increase in tumour size has been reported and confirmed in 22 patients. In 11 patients, there was contradictory data on tumour size, while, in six patients, central review of the films failed to confirm increase in tumour size. In conclusion, the safety data are generally reassuring, while the IGF1 normalisation rate is disappointing, which probably reflects a failure of dose titration. Further effort is needed to understand the reasons for the failure of dose titration.
Peter J Trainer
Phillip J Monaghan and Peter J Trainer
Ana Pokrajac, Jan Frystyk, Allan Flyvbjerg and Peter J Trainer
Somatostatin analogues are frequently used for medical treatment of acromegaly. The rationale for their use is based on the inhibition of pituitary GH secretion; however, there is in vitro evidence that octreotide also acts to inhibit hepatic IGF1 generation.
Aim & design
We studied the pituitary-independent effects of octreotide on IGF1 generation in 11 severely GH-deficient (GHD) humans (age 38, range 23–52; seven males; body mass index 24.7±3 kg/m2; peak-stimulated GH <3 μg/l; 3±1 pituitary hormone deficiencies) on a stable dose of GH replacement (0.4±0.1 mg) for at least 6 months. Patients were studied before and after 50 μg of s.c. octreotide three times a day for 7 days.
At study entry, all patients had total IGF1 within age- and gender-related reference range (SDS 0.4±1.0). Octreotide treatment resulted in a significant decrease in total IGF1 (by 18%, 208±89 vs 173±62 μg/l, P=0.04), free IGF1 (by 13%, 0.83±0.36 vs 0.70±0.33 μg/l, P=0.01) and IGFBP3 (6%, 4475±745 vs 4209±912 μg/l, P=0.02). Octreotide suppressed fasting insulin from 8.1±3.4 to 6.3±4.1 mU/l (P=0.01) and was associated with an increase in fasting glucose from 5.2±0.9 to 5.8±0.9 mmol/l (P<0.01). IGFBP1 increased by 84% from 42±26 to 95±52 μg/l (P=0.04).
Our study demonstrates that octreotide induces a significant decrease in IGF1 in severely GHD adults on a fixed dose of GH replacement. This is the evidence for a non-pituitary action of octreotide on the GH/IGF1 axis, most likely by antagonising the action of GH on hepatic IGF1 generation and indirectly, by suppressing insulin secretion.
Ana Pokrajac, Andrew G Claridge, S K Abdul Shakoor and Peter J Trainer
In many centres, a test dose (TD) of octreotide is administered before commencing somatostatin analogue therapy (SAT), although the merits of this procedure are uncertain. We have analysed the value of the GH response to a TD in predicting the efficacy of subsequent SAT in 47 patients with acromegaly (25 male, median age 51 years, range 20–82). The primary goal of SAT was a mean GH of < 5 mU/l. Median baseline GH was 19.3 mU/l (2.2–233 mU/l) and with the TD fell by 78% (35–98%) to a nadir of 4.2 mU/l (<0.3–85 mU/l). Optimal predictive power was observed when GH fell to < 5 mU/l after the TD. With this criterion, the TD had a positive predictive value (PPV) of achieving the primary goal on SAT of 82% and a negative predictive value (NPV) of 50%. However, baseline GH was also highly predictive of the likelihood of successful SAT (GH < 5 mU/l). The GH response to the TD had PPV of 83% and NPV of 61% of normalising IGF-I on SAT. In summary, baseline GH and nadir after a TD are highly predictive of a good response to SAT; however, a poor response to a TD does not exclude an optimal response to SAT. Furthermore, failure to achieve biochemical control does not equate to no benefit, as biochemical improvement was seen in every patient; therefore, no patient should be deprived of octreotide therapy because of the result of a TD. In conclusion, our data indicate that the octreotide TD has no place in selecting patients for SAT.
Peter J Trainer, Julian Barth, Cathie Sturgeon and Gilbert Wieringaon
Group-author : on behalf of the collaborative
Charlotte Höybye, Oskar Ragnarsson, Peter J Jönsson, Maria Koltowska-Häggström, Peter Trainer, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen and Beverly M K Biller
Patients in remission from Cushing's disease (CD) have many clinical features that are difficult to distinguish from those of concomitant GH deficiency (GHD). In this study, we evaluated the features of GHD in a large cohort of controlled CD patients, and assessed the effect of GH treatment.
Design and methods
Data were obtained from KIMS, the Pfizer International Metabolic Database. A retrospective cross-sectional comparison of background characteristics in unmatched cohorts of patients with CD (n=684, 74% women) and nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma (NFPA; n=2990, 39% women) was conducted. In addition, a longitudinal evaluation of 3 years of GH replacement in a subset of patients with controlled CD (n=322) and NFPA (n=748) matched for age and gender was performed.
The cross-sectional study showed a significant delay in GHD diagnosis in the CD group, who had a higher prevalence of hypertension, fractures, and diabetes mellitus. In the longitudinal, matched study, the CD group had a better metabolic profile but a poorer quality of life (QoL) at baseline, which was assessed with the disease-specific questionnaire QoL-assessment of GHD in adults. After 3 years of GH treatment (mean dose at 3 years 0.39 mg/day in CD and 0.37 mg/day in NFPA), total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol decreased, while glucose and HbAlc increased. Improvement in QoL was observed, which was greater in the CD group (−6 CD group versus −5 NFPA group, P<0.01).
In untreated GHD, co-morbidities, including impairment of QoL, were more prevalent in controlled CD. Overall, both the groups responded similarly to GH replacement, suggesting that patients with GHD due to CD benefit from GH to the same extent as those with GHD due to NFPA.
Márta Korbonits, Peter J Trainer, Giuseppe Fanciulli, Osvaldo Oliva, Alessandra Pala, Alessandra Dettori, Michael Besser, Giuseppe Delitala and Ashley B Grossman
Korbonits M, Trainer PJ, Fanciulli G, Oliva O, Pala A, Dettori A, Besser GM, Delitala G, Grossman AB. l-Arginine is unlikely to exert neuroendocrine effects in humans via the generation of nitric oxide. Eur J Endocrinol 1996;135:543–7. ISSN 0804–4643
There is now considerable evidence that nitric oxide is an important neuroregulatory agent, but there has been very little investigation of its possible role in neuroendocrine mechanisms in humans. We have investigated the effects of two nitric oxide precursors, l-arginine and molsidomine, under basal conditions on the pituitary hormones growth hormone (GH), prolactin, luteinizing hormone, folliclestimulating hormone, thyrotrophin, adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH) and vasopressin, and also on serum cortisol; we have also studied the effect of l-arginine on circulating prolactin, ACTH and cortisol in normal human subjects under hypoglycaemic stress. l-Arginine stimulated both GH and prolactin release under basal conditions but had no effect on the other hormones studied, while the nitric oxide donor molsidomine showed no effect on any hormone studied. l-Arginine potentiated the hypoglycaemia-stimulated release of ACTH but did not influence the rise in GH. The current studies suggest that the effects of l-arginine on the stimulation of GH and prolactin release are unlikely to be mediated via the generation of nitric oxide.
A Grossman, Department of Endocrinology, St Bartholomew's Hospital, West Smithfield, London EC1A 7BE, UK
Camilo Jimenez, Pia Burman, Roger Abs, David R Clemmons, William M Drake, Kent R Hutson, Michael Messig, Michael O Thorner, Peter J Trainer and Robert F Gagel
We examined pituitary tumor volumes in patients treated with pegvisomant for 18 months or longer, and in whom the tumors were monitored for at least 3 years. We present details on 9 of 304 patients in clinical trials with pegvisomant who experienced tumor growth within the first year of treatment.
Magnetic resonance images prior to start of pegvisomant and at last follow-up were examined in 43 patients (14% of participating patients). Twenty-nine had received prior radiation therapy (18% of irradiated patients) and all but five received somatostatin analogs between periods of pegvisomant treatment.
At follow-up, the median tumor volume was 0.6 cc (range 0.0–19.7 cc), in comparison with 1.6 cc (0.0–19.7 cc) at baseline (P<0.001). Twenty-five patients, of which 23 received radiation therapy, had tumor volume reduction. Seventeen patients had no significant change. One patient, who had not received radiation therapy, had an increase in tumor volume from 1.61 to 1.93 cc. Of the nine patients with tumor growth, six had progressive growth before initiating pegvisomant. Two patients with stable tumors while on octreotide experienced enlargement after octreotide discontinuation but remained stable on long-term pegvisomant therapy.
The present data indicate that pegvisomant does not promote tumor growth and suggest that the nine observed cases of tumor progression, which occurred within 8 months after commencing pegvisomant, are likely rebound expansions after discontinuation of somatostatin analogs and/or the natural history of aggressively growing pituitary tumors. Continued long-term surveillance of tumor volume, particularly in non-irradiated patients, is recommended.
Christian J Strasburger, Niki Karavitaki, Sylvère Störmann, Peter J Trainer, Ilonka Kreitschmann-Andermahr, Michael Droste, Márta Korbonits, Berit Feldmann, Kathrin Zopf, Violet Fazal Sanderson, David Schwicker, Dana Gelbaum, Asi Haviv, Martin Bidlingmaier and Nienke R Biermasz
Long-acting somatostatin analogues delivered parenterally are the most widely used medical treatment in acromegaly. This patient-reported outcomes survey was designed to assess the impact of chronic injections on subjects with acromegaly.
The survey was conducted in nine pituitary centres in Germany, UK and The Netherlands. The questionnaire was developed by endocrinologists and covered aspects of acromegaly symptoms, injection-related manifestations, emotional and daily life impact, treatment satisfaction and unmet medical needs.
In total, 195 patients participated, of which 112 (57%) were on octreotide (Sandostatin LAR) and 83 (43%) on lanreotide (Somatuline Depot). The majority (>70%) of patients reported acromegaly symptoms despite treatment. A total of 52% of patients reported that their symptoms worsen towards the end of the dosing interval. Administration site pain lasting up to a week following injection was the most frequently reported injection-related symptom (70% of patients). Other injection site reactions included nodules (38%), swelling (28%), bruising (16%), scar tissue (8%) and inflammation (7%). Injection burden was similar between octreotide and lanreotide. Only a minority of patients received injections at home (17%) and 5% were self-injecting. Over a third of patients indicated a feeling of loss of independence due to the injections, and 16% reported repeated work loss days. Despite the physical, emotional and daily life impact of injections, patients were satisfied with their treatment, yet reported that modifications that would offer major improvement over current care would be ‘avoiding injections’ and ‘better symptom control’.
Lifelong injections of long-acting somatostatin analogues have significant burden on the functioning, well-being and daily lives of patients with acromegaly.
Elena Valassi, Alicia Santos, Maria Yaneva, Miklós Tóth, Christian J Strasburger, Philippe Chanson, John A H Wass, Olivier Chabre, Marija Pfeifer, Richard A Feelders, Stylianos Tsagarakis, Peter J Trainer, Holger Franz, Kathrin Zopf, Sabina Zacharieva, Steven W J Lamberts, Antoine Tabarin and Susan M Webb
The European Registry on Cushing's syndrome (ERCUSYN) is designed to collect prospective and follow-up data at EU level on Cushing's syndrome (CS).
Design and methods
Baseline data on 481 CS patients (390 females, 91 males; mean age (±s.d.): 44±14 years) collected from 36 centres in 23 countries, including new patients from 2008 and retrospective cases since 2000. Patients were divided into four major aetiologic groups: pituitary-dependent CS (PIT-CS) (66%), adrenal-dependent CS (ADR-CS) (27%), CS from an ectopic source (ECT-CS) (5%) and CS from other aetiologies (2%).
Proportion of men in the ECT-CS group was higher than in the other groups (P<0.05). The ADR-CS group was older than the PIT-CS (P<0.05). Prevalence of hirsutism (92%) and diabetes (74%) in ECT-CS was higher than in the other groups (P<0.05 and P<0.01 respectively). PIT-CS had more skin alterations, menstrual irregularities and hirsutism than ADR-CS (P<0.01). Reduced libido was more prevalent in men than women (P<0.01). Prevalence of spine osteoporosis was higher in men than women (P<0.05), and males had more vertebral and rib fractures than females (52 vs 18% for vertebrae; P<0.001 and 34 vs 23% for ribs; P<0.05). ECT-CS consulted a diabetologist more frequently than ADR-CS (P<0.05), while a gynaecologist was consulted more often by women with PIT-CS or ADR-CS than with ECT-CS (P<0.05). Overall, weight gain was more common in women than men (P<0.01). CushingQoL and EuroQoL visual analogue scale scores did not differ between the groups.
The ERCUSYN project demonstrates a heterogeneous clinical presentation of CS at a European level, depending on gender and aetiology.