Drugs often fail to bring acromegaly under control in routine clinical practice

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Over a quarter of UK patients treated for growth hormone-producing tumours do not achieve 'safe' growth hormone (GH) levels, according to a 30 year UK multi-centre study of clinical management of the rare disease acromegaly. The findings by the Society for Endocrinology UK Acromegaly Register, published in the November issue of Clinical Endocrinology, show that drugs to control acromegaly often fail to bring the disease completely under control in routine clinical practice.

Is Acromegaly Hereditary?

Rarely pituitary adenomas can occur in families. If no other abnormality is associated then this condition is called Familial Isolated Pituitary Adenoma. Most often family members have acromegaly or prolactinoma, sometimes other types of adenomas.
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AIP Mutation in Pituitary Adenomas in the 18th Century and Today - Abstract

January 6, 2011 - Gigantism results when a growth hormone–secreting pituitary adenoma is present before epiphyseal fusion. In 1909, when Harvey Cushing examined the skeleton of an Irish patient who lived from 1761 to 1783,1-3 he noted an enlarged pituitary fossa. DNA was extracted from the patient's teeth and a germline mutation was identified in the aryl hydrocarbon–interacting protein gene (AIP).

Four contemporary Northern Irish families who presented with gigantism, acromegaly, or prolactinoma have the same mutation and haplotype associated with the mutated gene. Using coalescent theory, we infer that these persons share a common ancestor who lived about 57 to 66 generations earlier.

For information to obtain the entire article and citation, visit: New England Journal of Medicine