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1.  Growth Hormone plus Childhood Low-Dose Estrogen in Turner’s Syndrome 
The New England journal of medicine  2011;364(13):1230-1242.
Short stature and ovarian failure are characteristic features of Turner’s syndrome. Although recombinant human growth hormone is commonly used to treat the short stature associated with this syndrome, a randomized, placebo-controlled trial is needed to document whether such treatment increases adult height. Furthermore, it is not known whether childhood estrogen replacement combined with growth hormone therapy provides additional benefit. We examined the independent and combined effects of growth hormone and early, ultra-low-dose estrogen on adult height in girls with Turner’s syndrome.
In this double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, we randomly assigned 149 girls, 5.0 to 12.5 years of age, to four groups: double placebo (placebo injection plus childhood oral placebo, 39 patients), estrogen alone (placebo injection plus childhood oral low-dose estrogen, 40), growth hormone alone (growth hormone injection plus childhood oral placebo, 35), and growth hormone–estrogen (growth hormone injection plus childhood oral low-dose estrogen, 35). The dose of growth hormone was 0.1 mg per kilogram of body weight three times per week. The doses of ethinyl estradiol (or placebo) were adjusted for chronologic age and pubertal status. At the first visit after the age of 12.0 years, patients in all treatment groups received escalating doses of ethinyl estradiol. Growth hormone injections were terminated when adult height was reached.
The mean standard-deviation scores for adult height, attained at an average age of 17.0±1.0 years, after an average study period of 7.2±2.5 years were −2.81±0.85, −3.39±0.74, −2.29±1.10, and −2.10±1.02 for the double-placebo, estrogen-alone, growth hormone–alone, and growth hormone–estrogen groups, respectively (P<0.001). The overall effect of growth hormone treatment (vs. placebo) on adult height was a 0.78±0.13 increase in the height standard-deviation score (5.0 cm) (P<0.001); adult height was greater in the growth hormone–estrogen group than in the growth hormone–alone group, by 0.32±0.17 standard-deviation score (2.1 cm) (P = 0.059), suggesting a modest synergy between childhood low-dose ethinyl estradiol and growth hormone.
Our study shows that growth hormone treatment increases adult height in patients with Turner’s syndrome. In addition, the data suggest that combining childhood ultra-low-dose estrogen with growth hormone may improve growth and provide other potential benefits associated with early initiation of estrogen replacement. (Funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and Eli Lilly; number, NCT00001221.)
PMCID: PMC3083123  PMID: 21449786
2.  Human Prolactin: Measurement in Plasma by In Vitro Bioassay 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1971;50(8):1557-1568.
Prolactin has been measured in unextracted human plasma by a sensitive and specific in vitro bioassay. Secretory activity of breast tissue fragments from mid-pregnant mice, incubated in organ culture with human plasma, serves as the histologic end point. Sensitivity is 5 ng/ml (0.14 mU/ml) or somewhat better for ovine prolactin, and approximately 0.42 mU/ml for prolactin activity of human plasma at the dilutions used in the assay. Human growth hormone as it circulates in blood, like the material extracted from pituitary glands, is strongly lactogenic. Antisera to human growth hormone are capable of completely neutralizing the prolactin effect of large amounts (600 ng/ml) of human growth hormone added to the system. Plasma prolactin activity is less than 0.42 mU/ml in normal men and women. Of 26 patients with nonpuerperal galactorrhea, 14 had elevated prolactin activities ranging from 0.42 to 3.5 mU/ml. Growth hormone levels by radioimmunoassay were far too low, in general, to account for the observed prolactin activity. All of 14 nursing mothers, 1-30 days post partum, had elevated prolactin activity with a mean of 2.29 and a total range of 0.56-4.5 mU/ml. Growth hormone was in the low normal range in all of these subjects. Seven patients on psychoactive drugs of the phenothiazine series similarly had elevated prolactin activity with low growth hormone. Antiserum to human growth hormone, when preincubated with plasma samples from each of these three groups of subjects, produced no significant inhibition of prolactin activity. In two acromegalic patients with markedly elevated growth hormone levels, antiserum to growth hormone produced complete inhibition of prolactin activity in one and partial inhibition in the other. These studies indicate that human growth hormone and human prolactin are separate molecules, with little if any immunologic cross-reactivity, at least as demonstrated by the antisera used in this study, and that their release is governed by different physiologic mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC442054  PMID: 5107095
3.  Combined use of vasopressin and synthetic hypothalamic releasing factors as a new test of anterior pituitary function. 
Nine normal volunteers and 15 patients with pituitary disorders were given a combined test of anterior pituitary function using four hypothalamic releasing factors and arginine vasopressin. Rapid sequential intravenous infusions of human corticotrophin releasing factor 100 micrograms, growth hormone releasing factor 100 micrograms, luteinising hormone releasing hormone 100 micrograms, and thyrotrophin releasing hormone 200 micrograms were administered. Arginine vasopressin (10 pressor units) was given intramuscularly at the same time. Plasma or serum samples were assayed for concentrations of cortisol, growth hormone, luteinising hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, prolactin, and thyroid stimulating hormone at multiple times for 120 minutes. No troublesome side effects occurred. The results of the releasing factor combined test with arginine vasopressin were compared in the same subjects with a conventional combined test using insulin together with thyrotrophin releasing hormone and luteinising hormone releasing hormone. No difference was observed in the basal and peak concentrations of luteinising hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, and prolactin. Both cortisol and growth hormone responses to the releasing factors with arginine vasopressin were much greater than those seen with insulin induced hypoglycaemia or the combined releasing factors without arginine vasopressin. Patients with pituitary hypo-function were similarly recognised in both studies. There was a rapid increase in all hormone values with a peak usually by 60 minutes. In most people adequate assessment of individual hormone reserves may be achieved using basal, 30 minute, and 60 minute samples. This new combined releasing factor test appears to be a safe, rapid, and useful test of anterior pituitary function.
PMCID: PMC1339502  PMID: 3081148
4.  Tumour necrosis factor α blockade induces an anti‐inflammatory growth hormone signalling pathway in experimental colitis 
Gut  2006;56(1):73-81.
Neutralisation of tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα)restores systemic growth hormone function in patients with Crohn's disease, and induces mucosal healing. Anabolic effects of growth hormone depend on activation of the STAT5 transcription factor. Although it has recently been reported that both administration of growth hormone and neutralisation of TNFα reduce mucosal inflammation in experimental colitis, whether this involved activation of STAT5 in the gut is not known.
To determine whether TNFα blockade in colitis up regulates a growth hormone:STAT5 signalling pathway in the colon.
Interleukin 10‐deficient mice and wild‐type controls received growth hormone or anti‐TNFα antibody, and T84 human colon carcinoma cells were treated with TNFα or growth hormone. Activation and expression of STAT5b, peroxisome proliferator‐activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), NFκB/IκB and growth hormone receptor were determined.
Growth hormone activated STAT5b and up regulated expression of PPARγ in normal mouse colon; inflamed colon was partially resistant to this. Chronic administration of growth hormone, nevertheless, significantly reduced activation of colonic NFκB (p = 0.028). Neutralisation of TNFα rapidly increased abundance of growth hormone receptor, activation of STAT5 and abundance of PPARγ in the colon, but reduced activation of NFκB in colitis. Growth hormone activated STAT5, and directly reduced TNFα activation of NFκB, in T84 cells.
Reduced activation of colonic STAT5 and expression of PPARγ may contribute to persistent mucosal inflammation in colitis. Up regulation of STAT5 and PPARγ, either through neutralisation of TNFα or chronic administration of growth hormone, may exert an anti‐inflammatory effect in inflammatory bowel disease.
PMCID: PMC1856672  PMID: 16777921
5.  Role and Mechanisms of Actions of Thyroid Hormone on the Skeletal Development 
Bone Research  2013;1(2):146-161.
The importance of the thyroid hormone axis in the regulation of skeletal growth and maintenance has been well established from clinical studies involving patients with mutations in proteins that regulate synthesis and/or actions of thyroid hormone. Data from genetic mouse models involving disruption and overexpression of components of the thyroid hormone axis also provide direct support for a key role for thyroid hormone in the regulation of bone metabolism. Thyroid hormone regulates proliferation and/or differentiated actions of multiple cell types in bone including chondrocytes, osteoblasts and osteoclasts. Thyroid hormone effects on the target cells are mediated via ligand-inducible nuclear receptors/transcription factors, thyroid hormone receptor (TR) α and β, of which TRα seems to be critically important in regulating bone cell functions. In terms of mechanisms for thyroid hormone action, studies suggest that thyroid hormone regulates a number of key growth factor signaling pathways including insulin-like growth factor-I, parathyroid hormone related protein, fibroblast growth factor, Indian hedgehog and Wnt to influence skeletal growth. In this review we describe findings from various genetic mouse models and clinical mutations of thyroid hormone signaling related mutations in humans that pertain to the role and mechanism of action of thyroid hormone in the regulation of skeletal growth and maintenance.
PMCID: PMC4472099  PMID: 26273499
thyroid hormone; bone; cartilage; growth factors; bone cells
6.  Effects of Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy on Bone Mineral Density in Growth Hormone Deficient Adults: A Meta-Analysis 
Objectives. Growth hormone deficiency patients exhibited reduced bone mineral density compared with healthy controls, but previous researches demonstrated uncertainty about the effect of growth hormone replacement therapy on bone in growth hormone deficient adults. The aim of this study was to determine whether the growth hormone replacement therapy could elevate bone mineral density in growth hormone deficient adults. Methods. In this meta-analysis, searches of Medline, Embase, and The Cochrane Library were undertaken to identify studies in humans of the association between growth hormone treatment and bone mineral density in growth hormone deficient adults. Random effects model was used for this meta-analysis. Results. A total of 20 studies (including one outlier study) with 936 subjects were included in our research. We detected significant overall association of growth hormone treatment with increased bone mineral density of spine, femoral neck, and total body, but some results of subgroup analyses were not consistent with the overall analyses. Conclusions. Our meta-analysis suggested that growth hormone replacement therapy could have beneficial influence on bone mineral density in growth hormone deficient adults, but, in some subject populations, the influence was not evident.
PMCID: PMC3652209  PMID: 23690770
7.  Recombinant growth hormone therapy for cystic fibrosis in children and young adults 
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition causing disease most noticeably in the lungs, digestive tract and pancreas. People with cystic fibrosis often have malnutrition and growth delay. Adequate nutritional supplementation does not improve growth optimally and hence an anabolic agent, recombinant growth hormone, has been proposed as a potential intervention.
To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of recombinant human growth hormone therapy in improving lung function, quality of life and clinical status of children and young adults with cystic fibrosis.
Search methods
We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group’s Trials Register comprising references identified from comprehensive electronic database searches and handsearches of relevant journals and abstract books of conference proceedings. Date of latest search: 11 February 2015.
We conducted a search of relevant endocrine journals and proceedings of the Endocrinology Society meetings using Scopus and Proceedings First. Date of latest search: 04 March 2015.
Selection criteria
Randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials of all preparations of recombinant growth hormone compared to either no treatment, or placebo, or each other at any dose (high-dose and low-dose) or route and for any duration, in children or young adults aged up to 25 years diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (by sweat test or genetic testing).
Data collection and analysis
Two authors independently screened papers, extracted trial details and assessed their risk of bias.
Main results
Four controlled trials were included in this review (with 161 participants in total), each with an unclear risk of bias. Analysis of data obtained from these trials shows improvement in height for all comparisons, but improvements in weight and lean tissue mass were only reported in the comparison of standard dose recombinant growth hormone versus no treatment. One study showed moderate improvement at one time point in one parameter of pulmonary function tests, forced vital capacity (per cent predicted) when comparing standard dose recombinant growth hormone and no treatment, but there was no consistent benefit in lung function across all studies. Little evidence was found for improvement in quality of life. An improvement in fasting blood glucose levels was reported when comparing rhGH to placebo only. Exercise capacity improved in participants receiving standard dose recombinant growth hormone versus no treatment, but not for any other comparison. There is insufficient evidence to conclude any changes in hospitalisations, antibiotic use or significant adverse effects.
Authors’ conclusions
Recombinant growth hormone therapy is effective in improving the intermediate outcomes in height, weight and lean tissue mass when compared with no treatment. One measure of pulmonary function test showed moderate improvement at a single time point, but no consistent benefit was seen across all studies. No significant changes in quality of life, clinical status or side-effects were observed in this review. Long-term, well-designed randomised controlled trials of recombinant growth hormone therapy in people with cystic fibrosis are required prior to evaluation of human growth hormone treatment for routine use.
PMCID: PMC4465600  PMID: 23737090
Blood Glucose [metabolism]; Body Height [*drug effects]; Body Mass Index; Body Weight [drug effects; physiology]; Cystic Fibrosis [complications; *drug therapy]; Exercise Tolerance [drug effects; physiology]; Fasting [blood]; Human Growth Hormone [*therapeutic use]; Quality of Life; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Recombinant Proteins [therapeutic use]; Vital Capacity [drug effects; physiology]; Adolescent; Child; Humans; Young Adult
8.  Boosting the Late-Blooming Boy 
Sports Health  2011;3(1):32-40.
The indications for use of growth hormone have broadened with the availability of unlimited recombinant human growth hormone. The Food and Drug Administration’s approval for use of growth hormone in growth hormone–sufficient patients with idiopathic short stature includes some children with constitutional delay of growth and puberty. This is a normal growth pattern variation that includes delayed puberty and prolonged linear growth, usually leading to normal adult height. Use of recombinant human growth hormone to increase growth in short-statured children with constitutional growth delay has been challenged for its modest efficacy in increasing ultimate height, high cost, limited evidence for psychosocial benefit, and some unresolved concerns about long-term posttreatment safety. An additional controversy for the young athlete with constitutional growth delay is the concern for fairness in competition.
Evidence Acquisition:
A PubMed search of the literature from 1957 through May 2010 was conducted. Data sources were limited to peer-reviewed publications.
Recombinant human growth hormone is a safe and effective therapy for increasing growth rate in short children with constitutional growth delay, but it does not markedly increase ultimate stature nor confer a clear benefit in athletic performance.
Prescribing physicians should use recombinant human growth hormone treatment responsibly to bring children disabled by short stature into just the normal range.
PMCID: PMC3117584  PMID: 21691451
growth hormone; constitutional delay of growth and puberty; short stature; athletes
9.  Effects of physiologic levels of glucagon and growth hormone on human carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Studies involving administration of exogenous hormone during suppression of endogenous hormone secretion with somatostatin. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1976;57(4):875-884.
To study the individual effects of glucagon and growth hormone on human carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, endogenous secretion of both hormones was simultaneously suppressed with somatostatin and physiologic circulating levels of one or the other hormone were reproduced by exogenous infusion. The interaction of these hormones with insulin was evaluated by performing these studies in juvenile-onset, insulin-deficient diabetic subjects both during infusion of insulin and after its withdrawal. Infusion of glucagon (1 ng/kg-min) during suppression of its endogenous secretion with somatostatin produced circulating hormone levels of approximately 200 pg/ml. When glucagon was infused along with insulin, plasma glucose levels rose from 94 +/- 8 to 126 +/- 12 mg/100 ml over 1 h (P less than 0.01); growth hormone, beta-hydroxy-butyrate, alanine, FFA, and glycerol levels did not change. When insulin was withdrawn, plasma glucose, beta-hydroxybutyrate, FFA, and glycerol all rose to higher levels (P less than 0.01) than those observed under similar conditions when somatostatin alone had been infused to suppress glucagon secretion. Thus, under appropriate conditions, physiologic levels of glucagon can stimulate lipolysis and cause hyperketonemia and hyperglycemia in man; insulin antagonizes the lipolytic and ketogenic effects of glucagon more effectively than the hyperglycemic effect. Infusion of growth hormone (1 mug/kg-h) during suppression of its endogenous secretion with somastostatin produced circulating hormone levels of approximately 6 ng/ml. When growth hormone was administered along with insulin, no effects were observed. After insulin was withdrawn, plasma beta-hydroxybutyrate, glycerol, and FFA all rose to higher levels (P less than 0.01) than those observed during infusion of somatostatin alone when growth hormone secretion was suppressed; no difference in plasma glucose, alanine, and glucagon levels was evident. Thus, under appropriate conditions, physiologic levels of growth hormone can augment lipolysis and ketonemia in man, but these actions are ordinarily not apparent in the presence of physiologic levels of insulin.
PMCID: PMC436731  PMID: 820717
10.  Familial combined hyperlipoproteinemia. Evidence for a role of growth hormone deficiency in effecting its manifestation. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1980;65(4):829-835.
Hyperlipidemia associated with an isolated deficiency of growth hormone was investigated in 10 subjects with hypercholesterolemia consistently present over a 10-yr period. 8 of these 10 had serum triglyceride concentrations greater than 185 mg/dl. 13 growth hormone-deficient patients with normal serum lipids, 28 age-matched controls, and 6 families possessing both growth hormone-deficient and hormonally normal members were also studied. Hyperlipidemia occurred with growth hormone deficiency only in families in which hormonally normal subjects likewise exhibited hyperlipidemia. However the elevation of serum lipids, particularly cholesterol, was invariably greater in the growth hormone-deficient members of these families. Studies were most consistent with the classification of this trait as familial combined hyperlipoproteinemia. Basal serum concentrations of insulin, glucose, and free fatty acids were similar in all groups. After oral glucose (1.5 g/kg of body wt) both hyperlipidemic and normolipidemic dwarfs exhibited a similar degree of glucose intolerance associated with insulinopenia. Sensitivity to insulin, assessed after the intravenous injection of insulin (0.05 U/kg of body wt), increased and was virtually identical in the two dwarf groups. Administration of 5 mg of human growth hormone twice a day for 1 wk to five subjects did not alter serum lipid patterns. The data provide no conclusive evidence concerning a direct effect of growth hormone deficiency on hyperlipoproteinemia. We postulate that in some individuals growth hormone deficiency may unmask an underlying defect in lipoprotein metabolism.
PMCID: PMC434469  PMID: 6987267
11.  Fetal insulin and growth hormone metabolism in the subhuman primate 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1969;48(1):176-186.
The concentrations of plasma glucose, insulin, growth hormone, and immunoreactive growth hormone-like substance in subhuman primate fetal and maternal plasma were examined after the intravascular administration of glucose, arginine, or tolbutamide to the fetus. Cannulation of interplacental vessels permitted studies on the fetus in utero without disruption of fetal-placental-maternal anatomic integrity. Single glucose injections, glucose infusions, and arginine infusions into the fetus did not alter fetal plasma insulin concentrations. In contrast, tolbutamide injections elicited an immediate 3-4-fold increase in fetal plasma insulin concentrations. A bidirectional placental transfer of insulin was demonstrated with the use of simultaneously injected insulin-125I to the mother and insulin-131I to the fetus.
Simian fetal plasma contained a substance which cross-reacted with immunologic identity to human growth hormone. In contrast, simian maternal plasma and amniotic fluid reacted with immunologic nonidentity to human growth hormone. Although glucose administration to the fetus did not suppress nor did arginine infusion consistently augment fetal plasma growth hormone levels, the latter were observed to vary in individual experiments.
The plasma responses to the same stimuli in the neonate were also examined. In contrast to the fetal experiments, glucose injection in the neonate elicited a delayed rise in the concentration of plasma insulin. Similar to the fetus, the plasma concentration of insulin increased after tolbutamide injection and did not change in response to arginine infusion. The initial concentrations of neonatal plasma growth hormone were significantly lower when contrasted with the initial fetal plasma levels. There was no difference in the responsiveness of the fetal and neonatal growth hormone-releasing mechanisms when challenged by glucose or arginine infusion.
The data indicate that the fetal plasma concentration of growth hormone is labile, that fetal growth hormone metabolism may differ from that in the neonate, and that pancreatic islet cell responsiveness rapidly changes after delivery.
PMCID: PMC322203  PMID: 4974624
12.  Genetic analysis of familial isolated growth hormone deficiency type I. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1982;70(3):489-495.
Nuclear DNA from individuals belonging to nine different families in which two sibs were affected with isolated growth hormone deficiency type I were studied by restriction endonuclease analysis. By using 32P-labeled human growth hormone or the homologous human chorionic somatomammotropin complementary DNA (cDNA) sequences as a probe, the growth hormone genes of affected individuals from all families yielded normal restriction patterns. Polymorphic restriction endonuclease sites (HincII and MspI), which are closely linked to the structural gene for growth hormone on chromosome 17, were used as markers in linkage analysis of DNA of family members. Of the nine affected sib pairs two were concordant, three were possibly concordant, and four were discordant for both linked markers. Since only concordant sib pairs would have inherited the same growth hormone alleles, further studies to identify mutations of the growth hormone genes should be limited to this subgroup. It is unlikely that the discordance observed in four of the sib pairs is due to recombination, because the polymorphic HincII site is only 116 base-pairs from the -26 codon of the growth hormone gene. Thus, in at least four of the nine families, the mutation responsible for isolated growth hormone deficiency is not within or near the structural gene for growth hormone on chromosome 17.
PMCID: PMC370249  PMID: 6286724
13.  Growth and somatomedin responses to growth hormone in Down's syndrome. 
Five growth retarded children with Down's syndrome, three girls and two boys aged between 3 1/2 and 6 1/2 years with trisomy 21, were treated with human growth hormone for six months. Before treatment the growth hormone response to sleep and insulin-arginine load, as well as serum concentrations of insulin, thyroid hormones, and cortisol was found to be in the normal range. During the treatment with human growth hormone the growth velocity increased in all the children with Down's syndrome from 2.3-2.8 cm to 3.3-5.8 cm per six months. The serum concentrations of immunoreactive insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) were low before treatment and increased during the treatment with human growth hormone. The serum concentrations of immunoreactive insulin like growth factor 2 (IGF-2), which were within the normal range, however, increased during treatment with human growth hormone. Children with Down's syndrome respond to treatment with human growth hormone, with an increase in both growth velocity and serum somatomedin concentrations.
PMCID: PMC1777554  PMID: 2937371
14.  Subtype classification for prediction of prognosis of breast cancer from a biomarker panel: correlations and indications 
Hormone receptors, including the estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), and other biomarkers like Ki67, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR, also known as HER1), the androgen receptor, and p53, are key molecules in breast cancer. This study evaluated the relationship between HER2 and hormone receptors and explored the additional prognostic value of Ki67, EGFR, the androgen receptor, and p53.
Quantitative determination of HER2 and EGFR was performed in 240 invasive breast cancer tissue microarray specimens using quantum dot (QD)-based nanotechnology. We identified two subtypes of HER2, ie, high total HER2 load (HTH2) and low total HER2 load (LTH2), and three subtypes of hormone receptor, ie, high hormone receptor (HHR), low hormone receptor (LHR), and no hormone receptor (NHR). Therefore, breast cancer patients could be divided into five subtypes according to HER2 and hormone receptor status. Ki67, p53, and the androgen receptor were determined by traditional immunohistochemistry techniques. The relationship between hormone receptors and HER2 was investigated and the additional value of Ki67, EGFR, the androgen receptor, and p53 for prediction of 5-year disease-free survival was assessed.
In all patients, quantitative determination showed a statistically significant (P<0.001) negative correlation between HER2 and the hormone receptors and a significant positive correlation (P<0.001) between the estrogen receptor and the progesterone receptor (r=0.588), but a significant negative correlation (P<0.001, r=−0.618) with the HHR subtype. There were significant differences between the estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2 subtypes with regard to total HER2 load and hormone receptor subtypes. The rates of androgen receptor and p53 positivity were 46.3% and 57.0%, respectively. Other than the androgen receptor, differences in expression of Ki67, EGFR, and p53 did not achieve statistical significance (P>0.05) between the five subtypes. EGFR and Ki67 had prognostic significance for 5-year disease-free survival in univariate analysis, but the androgen receptor and p53 did not. Multivariate analysis identified that EGFR expression had predictive significance for 5-year disease-free survival in hormone-receptor positive patients and in those with the lymph node-positive breast cancer subtype.
Hormone receptor expression was indeed one of the molecular profiles in the subtypes identified by quantitative HER2 and vice versa. EGFR status may provide discriminative prognostic information in addition to HER2 and hormone receptor status, and should be integrated into routine practice to help formulate more specific prediction of the prognosis and appropriate individualized treatment.
PMCID: PMC3937188  PMID: 24591826
quantum dots; breast cancer; molecular classification; prognosis; prediction
15.  Abnormalities of growth hormone release in response to human pancreatic growth hormone releasing factor (GRF (1-44) ) in acromegaly and hypopituitarism. 
Human pancreatic growth hormone releasing factor (GRF (1-44)) is the parent molecule of several peptides recently extracted from pancreatic tumours associated with acromegaly. A study was conducted to examine its effects on the release of growth hormone in normal volunteers and in patients with hypopituitarism and acromegaly. GRF (1-44) dose dependently stimulated the release of growth hormone in normal people and produced no appreciable side effect. This response was grossly impaired in patients with hypopituitarism and, although similar to the growth hormone response to hypoglycaemia, was of quicker onset and a more sensitive test of residual growth hormone function. Patients with acromegaly appeared to fall into (a) those with a normal response to GRF, whose growth hormone suppressed significantly with oral glucose, and (b) those who had an exaggerated response to GRF (1-44), whose growth hormone had not suppressed previously after oral glucose. Present methods for testing growth hormone deficiency entail using the insulin stress test, which is time consuming, unpleasant, and sometimes dangerous. A single intravenous injection of GRF now offers the possibility of an easier, safer, and more reliable routine test for growth hormone deficiency. It has the further advantage of being free of side effects and readily performed in outpatients. Hence it seems likely to become the standard test and take the place of the insulin stress test.
PMCID: PMC1548244  PMID: 6405935
16.  Efficacy of chemotherapy after hormone therapy for hormone receptor–positive metastatic breast cancer 
SAGE Open Medicine  2014;2:2050312114557376.
According to the guidelines for metastatic breast cancer, hormone therapy for hormone receptor–positive metastatic breast cancer without life-threatening metastasis should be received prior to chemotherapy. Previous trials have investigated the sensitivity of chemotherapy for preoperative breast cancer based on the efficacy of neoadjuvant hormone therapy. In this retrospective study, we investigated the efficacy of chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer in hormone therapy–effective and hormone therapy–ineffective cases.
Patients who received chemotherapy after hormone therapy for metastatic breast cancer between 2006 and 2013 at our institution were investigated.
A total of 32 patients received chemotherapy after hormone therapy for metastatic breast cancer. The median patient age was 59 years, and most of the primary tumors exhibited a T2 status. A total of 26 patients had an N(+) status, while 7 patients had human epidermal growth factor receptor 2–positive tumors. A total of 13 patients received clinical benefits from hormone therapy, with a rate of clinical benefit of subsequent chemotherapy of 30.8%, which was not significantly different from that observed in the hormone therapy–ineffective patients (52.6%). A total of 13 patients were able to continue the hormone therapy for more than 1 year, with a rate of clinical benefit of chemotherapy of 38.5%, which was not significantly different from that observed in the short-term hormone therapy patients (47.4%). The luminal A patients were able to continue hormone therapy for a significantly longer period than the non-luminal A patients (median survival time: 17.8 months vs 6.35 months, p = 0.0085). However, there were no significant differences in the response to or duration of chemotherapy.
The efficacy of chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer cannot be predicted based on the efficacy of prior hormone therapy or tumor subtype, and clinicians should administer chemotherapy in all cases of hormone receptor–positive metastatic breast cancer, if needed.
PMCID: PMC4607235  PMID: 26770749
Secondary breast neoplasms; drug therapy; hormone
17.  Growth hormone response to growth hormone-releasing peptide-2 in growth hormone-deficient Little mice 
Clinics  2012;67(3):265-272.
To investigate a possible direct, growth hormone-releasing, hormone-independent action of a growth hormone secretagogue, GHRP-2, in pituitary somatotroph cells in the presence of inactive growth hormone-releasing hormone receptors.
The responses of serum growth hormone to acutely injected growth hormone-releasing P-2 in lit/lit mice, which represent a model of GH deficiency arising from mutated growth hormone-releasing hormone-receptors, were compared to those observed in the heterozygous (lit/+) littermates and wild-type (+/+) C57BL/6J mice.
After the administration of 10 mcg of growth hormone-releasing P-2 to lit/lit mice, a growth hormone release of 9.3±1.5 ng/ml was observed compared with 1.04±1.15 ng/ml in controls (p<0.001). In comparison, an intermediate growth hormone release of 34.5±9.7 ng/ml and a higher growth hormone release of 163±46 ng/ml were induced in the lit/+ mice and wild-type mice, respectively. Thus, GHRP-2 stimulated growth hormone in the lit/lit mice, and the release of growth hormone in vivo may be only partially dependent on growth hormone-releasing hormone. Additionally, the plasma leptin and ghrelin levels were evaluated in the lit/lit mice under basal and stimulated conditions.
Here, we have demonstrated that lit/lit mice, which harbor a germline mutation in the Growth hormone-releasing hormone gene, maintain a limited but statistically significant growth hormone elevation after exogenous stimulation with GHRP-2. The present data probably reflect a direct, growth hormone-independent effect on Growth hormone S (ghrelin) stimulation in the remaining pituitary somatotrophs of little mice that is mediated by growth hormone S-R 1a.
PMCID: PMC3297037  PMID: 22473409
Ghrelin; GH; GHRH-R; GHRP-2; Leptin; Little mouse
18.  Effect of long-term storage on hormone measurements in samples from pregnant women: The experience of the Finnish Maternity Cohort 
Validity of biobank studies on hormone associated cancers depend on the extent the sample preservation is affecting the hormone measurements. We investigated the effect of long-term storage (up to 22 years) on immunoassay measurements of three groups of hormones and associated proteins: sex-steroids [estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, dihydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG)], pregnancy-specific hormones [human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), placental growth hormone (pGH), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)], and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) family hormones exploiting the world largest serum bank, the Finnish Maternity Cohort (FMC). Hormones of interest were analyzed in a random sample of 154 Finnish women in the median age (29.5 years, range 25 to 34 years) of their first pregnancy with serum samples drawn during the first trimester. All hormone measurements were performed using commercial enzyme-linked- or radio-immunoassays. Storage time did not correlate with serum levels of testosterone, DHEAS, hCG, pGH and total IGFBP-1. It had a weak or moderate negative correlation with serum levels of progesterone (Spearman’s ranked correlation coefficient (rs)=− 0.36), IGF-I (rs=−0.23) and IGF binding protein (BP)-3 (rs=−0.38), and weak positive correlation with estradiol (rs=0.23), SHBG (rs=0.16), AFP (rs=0.20) and non-phosphorylated IGF binding protein (BP)-1 (rs=0.27). The variation of all hormone levels studied followed the kinetics reported for early pregnancy. Bench-lag time (the time between sample collection and freezing for storage) did not materially affect the serum hormone levels. In conclusion, the stored FMC serum samples can be used to study hormone-disease associations, but close matching for storage time and gestational day are necessary design components of all related biobank studies.
PMCID: PMC2886582  PMID: 17891670
19.  Mortality, neoplasia, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in patients treated with human pituitary growth hormone in the United Kingdom. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1991;302(6780):824-828.
OBJECTIVE--To determine the cause of death and incidence of neoplasia in patients treated with human pituitary growth hormone. DESIGN--A long term cohort study established to receive details of death certification and tumour registrations through the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys and NHS central register. PATIENTS--All patients (1246 male, 662 female) treated for short stature with pituitary growth hormone under the Medical Research Council working party and health services human growth hormone committee. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Death or development of neoplasia. RESULTS--110 patients died (68 male, 42 female; aged 0.9-57 years) from 1972 to 1990. Fifty three death were from neoplasia responsible for growth hormone deficiency (27 craniopharyngioma, 24 other intracranial tumour, two leukaemia); two from histiocytosis X; and 13 from pituitary insufficiency. Six patients died of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, six of other neurological disorders, and eight of acute infection. Other deaths were apparently unrelated to growth hormone deficiency or its treatment. Seventeen tumours (in 16 patients) were identified during or after growth hormone treatment. Four were in patients with previous intracranial neoplasia and two were after cranial irradiation. Thirteen were intracranial, the others being Hodgkin's lymphoma, osteosarcoma, carcinoma of colon, and basal cell carcinoma. CONCLUSIONS--Recurrence or progression of intracranial tumours and potentially avoidable metabolic consequences of hypopituitarism were the main causes of death. Growth hormone treatment probably did not contribute to new tumour development. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease after pituitary growth hormone treatment continues to occur in the United Kingdom. This cohort must remain under long term review.
PMCID: PMC1669149  PMID: 2025705
20.  Effectiveness of Recombinant Human Growth Hormone for Pharyngocutaneous Fistula Closure 
In laryngeal cancer, which comprises 25% of head and neck cancer, chemotherapy has come into prominence with the increase in organ-protective treatments. With such treatment, salvage surgery has increased following recurrence; the incidence of pharyngocutaneous fistula has also increased in both respiratory and digestive system surgery. We investigated the effects of recombinant human growth hormone on pharyngocutaneous fistula closure in Sprague-Dawley rats, based on an increase in amino acid uptake and protein synthesis for wound healing, an increase in mitogenesis, and enhancement of collagen formation by recombinant human growth hormone.
This study was experimental animal study. Forty Sprague-Dawley rats were separated into two groups, and pharyngoesophagotomy was performed. The pharyngoesophagotomy was sutured with vicryl in both groups. Rats in group 1 (control group) received no treatment, while those in group 2 were administered a subcutaneous injection of recombinant human growth hormone daily. On day 14, the pharynx, larynx, and upper oesophagus were excised and examined microscopically.
Pharyngocutaneous fistula exhibited better closure macroscopically in the recombinant human growth hormone group. There was a significant difference in collagen formation and epithelisation in the recombinant human growth hormone group compared to the control group.
This study is believed to be the first in which the effect of recombinant human growth hormone on pharyngocutaneous fistula closure was evaluated, and the findings suggest the potential of use of growth hormone for treatment of pharyngocutaneous fistula.
PMCID: PMC4661257  PMID: 26622960
Pharyngocutaneous Fistula; Recombinant Human Growth Hormone; Postoperative Laryngectomy Complications
21.  Changing Concepts on the Control of Growth Hormone Secretion in Man 
California Medicine  1971;115(2):38-46.
New facts have emerged about growth hormone (hgh) secretion in man giving rise to new conceptions and to new questions.
• In well-nourished, lean human beings growth hormone is released in early deep sleep and the pattern of release observed from night to night is fairly constant.
• The release of growth hormone in sleep occurs when plasma glucose is not fluctuating and after insulin has fallen to a very low level. Plasma-free fatty acids may rise about two hours later but insulin does not rise in response to nocturnal hgh release.
• The releases of growth hormone in sleep appear to meet the needs for a physiological test for the study of problems of growth. Correlations of this test with the many pharmacologic maneuvers in current use for diagnosis remain to be made.
• Growth hormone secretion as judged by plasma concentrations relates to protein intake, such that protein depletion initiates compensatory elevation of plasma concentrations of growth hormone. Further elevations may occur with glucose loading—so-called “paradoxical” responses. In contrast, there is compensatory suppression of growth hormone secretion in obesity. Repletion of protein in the malnourished and reduction of weight in obesity cause return toward normal secretion of hgh.
• Levodopa as a possible specific stimulus to growth hormone release has just been reported and the implications of this finding for the child of short stature cannot yet be assessed.
PMCID: PMC1518007  PMID: 4935302
22.  Asporin Is a Fibroblast-Derived TGF-β1 Inhibitor and a Tumor Suppressor Associated with Good Prognosis in Breast Cancer 
PLoS Medicine  2015;12(9):e1001871.
Breast cancer is a leading malignancy affecting the female population worldwide. Most morbidity is caused by metastases that remain incurable to date. TGF-β1 has been identified as a key driving force behind metastatic breast cancer, with promising therapeutic implications.
Methods and Findings
Employing immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis, we report, to our knowledge for the first time, that asporin is overexpressed in the stroma of most human breast cancers and is not expressed in normal breast tissue. In vitro, asporin is secreted by breast fibroblasts upon exposure to conditioned medium from some but not all human breast cancer cells. While hormone receptor (HR) positive cells cause strong asporin expression, triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells suppress it. Further, our findings show that soluble IL-1β, secreted by TNBC cells, is responsible for inhibiting asporin in normal and cancer-associated fibroblasts. Using recombinant protein, as well as a synthetic peptide fragment, we demonstrate the ability of asporin to inhibit TGF-β1-mediated SMAD2 phosphorylation, epithelial to mesenchymal transition, and stemness in breast cancer cells. In two in vivo murine models of TNBC, we observed that tumors expressing asporin exhibit significantly reduced growth (2-fold; p = 0.01) and metastatic properties (3-fold; p = 0.045). A retrospective IHC study performed on human breast carcinoma (n = 180) demonstrates that asporin expression is lowest in TNBC and HER2+ tumors, while HR+ tumors have significantly higher asporin expression (4-fold; p = 0.001). Assessment of asporin expression and patient outcome (n = 60; 10-y follow-up) shows that low protein levels in the primary breast lesion significantly delineate patients with bad outcome regardless of the tumor HR status (area under the curve = 0.87; 95% CI 0.78–0.96; p = 0.0001). Survival analysis, based on gene expression (n = 375; 25-y follow-up), confirmed that low asporin levels are associated with a reduced likelihood of survival (hazard ratio = 0.58; 95% CI 0.37–0.91; p = 0.017). Although these data highlight the potential of asporin to serve as a prognostic marker, confirmation of the clinical value would require a prospective study on a much larger patient cohort.
Our data show that asporin is a stroma-derived inhibitor of TGF-β1 and a tumor suppressor in breast cancer. High asporin expression is significantly associated with less aggressive tumors, stratifying patients according to the clinical outcome. Future pre-clinical studies should consider options for increasing asporin expression in TNBC as a promising strategy for targeted therapy.
Andrei Turtoi and colleagues describe a mechanistic role for stroma-derived asporin in breast cancer development.
Editors' Summary
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. Nearly 1.7 million new cases were diagnosed in 2012, and half a million women died from the disease. Breast cancer begins when cells in the breast that normally make milk (epithelial cells) acquire genetic changes that allow them to divide uncontrollably and to move around the body (metastasize). Uncontrolled cell division leads to the formation of a lump that can be detected by mammography (a breast X-ray) or by manual breast examination. Breast cancer is treated by surgical removal of the lump or, if the cancer has started to spread, by removal of the whole breast (mastectomy). After surgery, women often receive chemotherapy or radiotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells, and women whose tumors express receptors for the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone or for HER2, a growth factor receptor, are treated with drugs that block these receptors; estrogen, progesterone, and HER2 all control breast cell growth. Nowadays, the prognosis (outlook) for women living in high-income countries who develop breast cancer is generally good—nearly 90% of such women are still alive five years after diagnosis.
Why Was This Study Done?
The cells surrounding cancer cells—cancer-associated fibroblasts and other components of the stroma—support cancer growth and metastasis and are good targets for new cancer therapies. But, although there is mounting evidence that cancer cells actively adapt the stroma so that it produces various factors the tumor needs to grow and spread, very few molecules produced by the stroma that might serve as targets for drug development have been identified. Here, the researchers investigate whether a molecule called asporin might represent one such target. Asporin, which is highly expressed in the stroma of breast tumors, inhibits a growth factor called TGF-β1. TGF-β1 is involved in maintaining healthy joints, but is also a key molecule in the development of metastatic breast cancer. Most particularly, it modulates an important step in metastasis called the epithelial to mesenchymal transition and it regulates “stemness” in cancer cells. Stem cells are a special type of cell that can multiply indefinitely; tumor cells often look and behave very much like stem cells.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Using a technique called immunohistochemistry, the researchers first showed that asporin is highly expressed in the stroma of most human breast cancers but not in normal breast tissue. Next, they showed that breast fibroblasts secrete asporin when exposed to conditioned medium from some human breast cancer cell lines (breast cancer cells adapted to grow continuously in the laboratory; conditioned medium is the solution in which cells have been grown). Specifically, conditioned medium from hormone receptor positive cells induced strong asporin expression by breast fibroblasts, whereas medium from breast cancer cells not expressing estrogen or progesterone receptors or HER2 receptors (triple-negative breast cancer cells) suppressed asporin expression. Other experiments showed that TGF-β1 secreted by breast cancer cells induces asporin expression in breast fibroblasts, and that asporin, in turn, inhibits TGF-β1-mediated induction of the epithelial to mesenchymal transition and stemness in breast cancer cells. Triple negative breast cancers appear to inhibit stromal expression of asporin at least in part via expression of the soluble signaling protein interleukin-1β. Notably, in mouse models of triple-negative breast cancer, tumors engineered to express asporin grew slower and metastasized less than tumors not expressing asporin. Finally, among women with breast cancer, asporin expression was low in triple-negative and HER2-positive tumors but significantly higher in hormone receptor positive tumors, and low asporin levels in primary breast lesions were associated with a reduced likelihood of survival independent of hormone receptor and HER2 expression.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that asporin is a stroma-derived inhibitor of TGF-β1 and a tumor suppressor in breast cancer. Importantly, they also provide preliminary evidence that high asporin expression is associated with less aggressive tumors (hormone receptor positive tumors), whereas low asporin expression is associated with more aggressive tumors (triple negative tumors and HER2-positive tumors). Thus, asporin expression might provide a new prognostic marker for breast cancer. However, before asporin can be used as a biomarker to predict outcomes in women with breast cancer and to identify those women in need of more aggressive treatment, these findings need to be confirmed in large prospective clinical studies. If these findings are confirmed, methods for increasing asporin expression in the stromal tissues of triple negative breast cancer could be a promising strategy for targeted therapy for this group of breast cancers, which currently have a poor prognosis.
Additional Information
This list of resources contains links that can be accessed when viewing the PDF on a device or via the online version of the article at
The US National Cancer Institute provides comprehensive information about cancer (in English and Spanish), including detailed information for patients and professionals about breast cancer and an online booklet for patients
Cancer Research UK, a not-for-profit organization, provides information about cancer; its detailed information about breast cancer includes sections on tests for hormone receptors and HER2, on treatments that target hormone receptors and treatments that target HER2, and on triple negative breast cancer is a not-for-profit organization that provides up-to-date information about breast cancer (in English and Spanish), including information on hormone receptor status, HER2 status, and triple negative breast cancer
The UK National Health Service Choices website has information and personal stories about breast cancer; the not-for-profit organization also provides personal stories about dealing with breast cancer
PMCID: PMC4556693  PMID: 26327350
23.  Growth hormone releasing factor: comparison of two analogues and demonstration of hypothalamic defect in growth hormone release after radiotherapy. 
Human pancreatic growth hormone releasing factor (hpGHRF(1-40] stimulates the release of growth hormone in normal subjects and some patients with growth hormone deficiency. A study comparing the shorter chain amidated analogue hpGHRF(1-29) with an equivalent dose of hpGHRF(1-40) in seven normal subjects showed no significant difference in growth hormone response between the two preparations. Six patients with prolactinomas were also tested; these patients had received megavoltage radiotherapy previously but had developed growth hormone deficiency as shown by insulin induced hypoglycaemia. In all six patients 200 micrograms hpGHRF(1-40) or hpGHRF(1-29)NH2 produced an increase in the serum growth hormone concentration. These data suggest that hpGHRF(1-29)NH2 may be useful for testing the readily releasable pool of growth hormone in the pituitary and that cases of hypothalamo-pituitary irradiation resulting in growth hormone deficiency may be due to failure of synthesis or delivery of endogenous GHRF from the hypothalamus to pituitary cells.
PMCID: PMC1441884  PMID: 6234047
24.  Brain IGF-1 Receptors Control Mammalian Growth and Lifespan through a Neuroendocrine Mechanism 
PLoS Biology  2008;6(10):e254.
Mutations that decrease insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and growth hormone signaling limit body size and prolong lifespan in mice. In vertebrates, these somatotropic hormones are controlled by the neuroendocrine brain. Hormone-like regulations discovered in nematodes and flies suggest that IGF signals in the nervous system can determine lifespan, but it is unknown whether this applies to higher organisms. Using conditional mutagenesis in the mouse, we show that brain IGF receptors (IGF-1R) efficiently regulate somatotropic development. Partial inactivation of IGF-1R in the embryonic brain selectively inhibited GH and IGF-I pathways after birth. This caused growth retardation, smaller adult size, and metabolic alterations, and led to delayed mortality and longer mean lifespan. Thus, early changes in neuroendocrine development can durably modify the life trajectory in mammals. The underlying mechanism appears to be an adaptive plasticity of somatotropic functions allowing individuals to decelerate growth and preserve resources, and thereby improve fitness in challenging environments. Our results also suggest that tonic somatotropic signaling entails the risk of shortened lifespan.
Author Summary
Using a mouse model relevant for humans, we showed that lifespan can be significantly extended by reducing the signaling selectively of a protein called IGF-I in the central nervous system. This effect occurred through changes in specific neuroendocrine pathways. Dissecting the pathophysiological mechanism, we discovered that IGF receptors in the mammalian brain efficiently steered the development of the somatotropic axis, which in turn affected the individual growth trajectory and lifespan. Our work confirms experimentally that continuously low IGF-I and low growth hormone levels favor extended lifespan and postpone age-related mortality. Together with other recent reports, our results further challenge the view that administration of GH can prevent, or even counteract human aging. This knowledge is important since growth hormone is often prescribed to elderly people in an attempt to compensate the unwanted effects of aging. Growth hormone and IGF-I are also substances frequently used for doping in sports.
Inactivating IGF receptors in the brain decreased growth hormone and IGF-I, and increased lifespan in healthy mice. Such neuroendocrine longevity could be a physiological response to environment.
PMCID: PMC2573928  PMID: 18959478
25.  Antagonistic analogs of growth hormone-releasing hormone increase the efficacy of treatment of triple negative breast cancer in nude mice with doxorubicin; A preclinical study 
Oncoscience  2014;1(10):665-673.
This study evaluated the effects of an antagonistic analog of growth hormone-releasing hormone, MIA-602, on tumor growth, response to doxorubicin, expression of drug resistance genes, and efflux pump function in human triple negative breast cancers.
HCC1806 (doxorubicin-sensitive) and MX-1 (doxorubicin-resistant), cell lines were xenografted into nude mice and treated with MIA-602, doxorubicin, or their combination. Tumors were evaluated for changes in volume and the expression of the drug resistance genes MDR1 and NANOG. In-vitro cell culture assays were used to analyze the effect of MIA-602 on efflux pump function.
Therapy with MIA-602 significantly reduced tumor growth and enhanced the efficacy of doxorubicin in both cell lines. Control HCC1806 tumors grew by 435%, while the volume of tumors treated with MIA-602 enlarged by 172.2% and with doxorubicin by 201.6%. Treatment with the combination of MIA-602 and doxorubicin resulted in an increase in volume of only 76.2%. Control MX-1 tumors grew by 907%, while tumors treated with MIA-602 enlarged by 434.8% and with doxorubicin by 815%. The combination of MIA-602 and doxorubicin reduced the increase in tumor volume to 256%. Treatment with MIA-602 lowered the level of growth hormone-releasing hormone and growth hormone-releasing hormone receptors and significantly reduced the expression of multidrug resistance (MDR1) gene and the drug resistance regulator NANOG. MIA-602 also suppressed efflux pump function in both cell lines.
We conclude that treatment of triple negative breast cancers with growth hormone-releasing hormone antagonists reduces tumor growth and potentiates the effects of cytotoxic therapy by nullifying drug resistance.
PMCID: PMC4278278  PMID: 25593995
triple negative breast cancer; drug resistance; combination therapy; growth-hormone-releasing hormone; antagonist; GHRH analogs

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