After the introduction of somatostatin analogs (LA-SMSA) and the growth hormone (GH) receptor antagonist, pegvisomant (Peg-v) normal serum insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentrations in virtually every patients with acromegaly is possible. The impact of these products on the GH-IGF1 axis is completely different. We advocate that LA-SMSA may normalize serum IGF1 levels in the presence of elevated GH actions in extrahepatic tissues. This results in persistent peripheral disease activity that we call 'extra-hepatic acromegaly'. Peg-v competitively blocks systemic GH action and results in a GH serum level increase. Therefore high doses of Peg-v are necessary to control IGF-1. Since the mode of action differs between these products, it is questionable if identical IGF-1 levels, during Peg-v or LA-SMSA are really identical representations of the biochemical situation. With the traditional biomarkers medical treatment is therefore difficult to monitor with the traditional biomarkers. Additionally, Peg-v and LA-SMSA could be ideal combination since they have different mode of actions. We believe that the time has come to challenge the existing concepts of treatment and monitoring of patients with acromegaly.

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US Endocrinology
Department of Internal Medicine

Franck, S., van der Lely, A.-J., & Neggers, B. (2013). Extra-hepatic acromegaly. US Endocrinology, 9(1), 66–70. Retrieved from