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Reevaluation of Conventional Pituitary Irradiation in the Therapy of Acromegaly


External beam pituitary irradiation has been frequently used in the treatment of growth hormone (GH) secreting pituitary adenomas. Many studies have demonstrated that serum GH declines rapidly and reliably following treatment and early “cure” rates, based on a basal serum GH below 10 µg/L were as high as 80%. The definition of “cure” has become more stringent over time and retrospective studies have indicated that GH must be below 2.5 µg/L for acromegalics to achieve mortality rates comparable to a normal population. Only 20% of irradiated patients will achieve this goal by 10 yr. Even fewer will achieve a normal serum insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels. Although pituitary irradiation still has a role in the control of tumor size, its importance as a treatment for normalizing serum GH is being reevaluated.

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Jaffe, C.A. Reevaluation of Conventional Pituitary Irradiation in the Therapy of Acromegaly. Pituitary 2, 55–62 (1999).

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  • growth hormone
  • adenoma
  • anterior pituitary
  • insulin-like growth factor I
  • neoplasia