Growth hormone (GH) has been used for over 35 years, and its safety and efficacy has been studied extensively. Experimental studies showing the permissive role of GH/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I) in carcinogenesis have raised concerns regarding the safety of GH replacement in children and adults who have received treatment for cancer and those with intracranial and pituitary tumours. A consensus statement was produced to guide decision-making on GH replacement in children and adult survivors of cancer, in those treated for intracranial and pituitary tumours and in patients with increased cancer risk. With the support of the European Society of Endocrinology, the Growth Hormone Research Society convened a Workshop, where 55 international key opinion leaders representing 10 professional societies were invited to participate. This consensus statement utilized: (1) a critical review paper produced before the Workshop, (2) five plenary talks, (3) evidence-based comments from four breakout groups, and (4) discussions during report-back sessions. Current evidence reviewed from the proceedings from the Workshop does not support an association between GH replacement and primary tumour or cancer recurrence. The effect of GH replacement on secondary neoplasia risk is minor compared to host- and tumour treatment-related factors. There is no evidence for an association between GH replacement and increased mortality from cancer amongst GH-deficient childhood cancer survivors. Patients with pituitary tumour or craniopharyngioma remnants receiving GH replacement do not need to be treated or monitored differently than those not receiving GH. GH replacement might be considered in GH-deficient adult cancer survivors in remission after careful individual risk/benefit analysis. In children with cancer predisposition syndromes, GH treatment is generally contraindicated but may be considered cautiously in select patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism