PNA Medical Corner: Pegvisomant in acromegaly: an upate

Annamaria ColaoThis month the PNA Medical Corner showcases an article co-written by Dr. Annamaria Colao, a longtime friend of the PNA. The study looks at Pegvisomant in the treatment of acromegaly and concludes that it is safe and effective but its use needs to be “optimized.” See the abstract below.

Pegvisomant in acromegaly: an update
Giustina A, Arnaldi G, Bogazzi F, Cannavò S, Colao A, De Marinis L, De Menis E, Degli Uberti E, Giorgino F, Grottoli S, Lania AG, Maffei P, Pivonello R, Ghigo E.
J Endocrinol Invest. 2017 Feb 7. doi: 10.1007/s40618-017-0614-1. [Epub ahead of print] Review.
J Endocrinol Invest. 2017 Feb 7. doi: 10.1007/s40618-017-0614-1. [Epub ahead of print]



In 2007, we published an opinion document to review the role of pegvisomant (PEG) in the treatment of acromegaly. Since then, new evidence emerged on the biochemical and clinical effects of PEG and on its long-term efficacy and safety.


We here reviewed the emerging aspects of the use of PEG in clinical practice in the light of the most recent literature.


The clinical use of PEG is still suboptimal, considering that it remains the most powerful tool to control IGF-I in acromegaly allowing to obtain, with a pharmacological treatment, the most important clinical effects in terms of signs and symptoms, quality of life and comorbidities. The number of patients with acromegaly exposed to PEG worldwide has become quite elevated and the prolonged follow-up allows now to deal quite satisfactorily with many clinical issues including major safety issues, such as the concerns about possible tumour (re)growth under PEG. The positive or neutral impact of PEG on glucose metabolism has been highlighted, and the clinical experience, although limited, with sleep apnoea and pregnancy has been reviewed. Finally, the current concept of somatostatin receptor ligands (SRL) resistance has been addressed, in order to better define the acromegaly patients to whom the PEG option may be offered.


PEG increasingly appears to be an effective and safe medical option for many patients not controlled by SRL but its use still needs to be optimized.


Acromegaly; IGF-I; Metabolic effects; Pegvisomant; Review; SRL resistance


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