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      Growth hormone therapy for Prader–willi syndrome: challenges and solutions

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          Abstract

          Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) is characterized by a dysregulation of growth hormone (GH)/insulin-like growth factor I axis, as the consequence of a complex hypothalamic involvement. PWS’ clinical picture seems to resemble the classic non-PWS GH deficiency (GHD), including short stature, excessive body fat, decreased muscle mass, and impaired quality of life. GH therapy is able to ameliorate the phenotypic appearance of the syndrome, as well as to improve body composition, physical strength, and cognitive level. In this regard, however, some pathophysiologic and clinical questions still remain, representing a challenge to give the most appropriate care to PWS patients. Data about the prevalence of GHD in PWS children are not unequivocal, ranging from 40% to 100%. In this context, to establish whether the presence (or not) of GHD may have a different effect on clinical course during GH therapy may be helpful. In addition, the comparison of GH effects in PWS children diagnosed as small for gestational age with those obtained in subjects born appropriate for gestational age is of potential interest for future trials. Emerging information seems to demonstrate the maintenance of beneficial effects of GH therapy in PWS subjects after adolescent years. Thus, GH retesting after achievement of final height should be taken into consideration for all PWS patients. However, it is noteworthy that GH administration exerts positive effects both in PWS adults with and without GHD. Another critical issue is to clarify whether the genotype–phenotype correlations may be relevant to specific outcome measures related to GH therapy. Moreover, progress of our understanding of the role of GH replacement and concomitant therapies on bone characteristics of PWS is required. Finally, a long-term surveillance of benefits and risks of GH therapy is strongly recommended for PWS population, since most of the current studies are uncontrolled and of short duration.

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          Most cited references 68

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          Consensus statement on the management of the GH-treated adolescent in the transition to adult care.

          The European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology held a consensus workshop in Manchester, UK in December 2003 to discuss issues relating to the care of GH-treated patients in the transition from paediatric to adult life. Clinicians experienced in the care of paediatric and adult patients on GH treatment, from a wide range of countries, as well as medical representatives from the pharmaceutical manufacturers of GH participated.
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            GH safety workshop position paper: a critical appraisal of recombinant human GH therapy in children and adults

            Recombinant human GH (rhGH) has been in use for 30 years, and over that time its safety and efficacy in children and adults has been subject to considerable scrutiny. In 2001, a statement from the GH Research Society (GRS) concluded that ‘for approved indications, GH is safe’; however, the statement highlighted a number of areas for on-going surveillance of long-term safety, including cancer risk, impact on glucose homeostasis, and use of high dose pharmacological rhGH treatment. Over the intervening years, there have been a number of publications addressing the safety of rhGH with regard to mortality, cancer and cardiovascular risk, and the need for long-term surveillance of the increasing number of adults who were treated with rhGH in childhood. Against this backdrop of interest in safety, the European Society of Paediatric Endocrinology (ESPE), the GRS, and the Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) convened a meeting to reappraise the safety of rhGH. The ouput of the meeting is a concise position statement.
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              Beneficial effects of growth hormone treatment on cognition in children with Prader-Willi syndrome: a randomized controlled trial and longitudinal study.

              Knowledge about the effects of GH treatment on cognitive functioning in children with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is limited. Fifty prepubertal children aged 3.5 to 14 yr were studied in a randomized controlled GH trial during 2 yr, followed by a longitudinal study during 4 yr of GH treatment. Cognitive functioning was measured biennially by short forms of the WPPSI-R or WISC-R, depending on age. Total IQ (TIQ) score was estimated based on two subtest scores. During the randomized controlled trial, mean sd scores of all subtests and mean TIQ score remained similar compared to baseline in GH-treated children with PWS, whereas in untreated controls mean subtest sd scores and mean TIQ score decreased and became lower compared to baseline. This decline was significant for the Similarities (P = 0.04) and Vocabulary (P = 0.03) subtests. After 4 yr of GH treatment, mean sd scores on the Similarities and Block design subtests were significantly higher than at baseline (P = 0.01 and P = 0.03, respectively), and scores on Vocabulary and TIQ remained similar compared to baseline. At baseline, children with a maternal uniparental disomy had a significantly lower score on the Block design subtest (P = 0.01) but a larger increment on this subtest during 4 yr of GH treatment than children with a deletion. Lower baseline scores correlated significantly with higher increases in Similarities (P = 0.04) and Block design (P < 0.0001) sd scores. Our study shows that GH treatment prevents deterioration of certain cognitive skills in children with PWS on the short term and significantly improves abstract reasoning and visuospatial skills during 4 yr of GH treatment. Furthermore, children with a greater deficit had more benefit from GH treatment.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                2016
                02 June 2016
                : 12
                : 873-881
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Division of Auxology, San Giuseppe Hospital, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Verbania, Italy
                [2 ]Experimental Laboratory for Auxo-endocrinological Research, San Giuseppe Hospital, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Verbania, Italy
                [3 ]Autoimmune Endocrine Diseases Unit, Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, Rome, Italy
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Graziano Grugni, Division of Auxology, San Giuseppe Hospital, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Corso Mameli 199, 28921 Verbania, Italy, Tel +39 323 51 4247, Fax +39 323 51 4230, Email g.grugni@ 123456auxologico.it
                Article
                tcrm-12-873
                10.2147/TCRM.S70068
                4898426
                27330297
                © 2016 Grugni et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Categories
                Review

                Medicine

                transition phase, pws, gh deficiency, gh therapy

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