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Open access

Eva Jakobsson Ung, Ann-Charlotte Olofsson, Ida Björkman, Tobias Hallén, Daniel S Olsson, Oskar Ragnarsson, Thomas Skoglund, Sofie Jakobsson and Gudmundur Johannsson

Objective: Experiences and need of support during surgery and start of replacement therapy in patients with pituitary tumours are highly unknown. This study therefore aimed at exploring patient experiences during pre- and postoperative care and recovery after pituitary surgery in patients with a pituitary tumour.

Methods: Within a qualitative study design, 16 consecutive patients who underwent surgery for pituitary tumours were repeatedly interviewed. In total 42 interviews were performed before and after surgery. Analysis was performed using qualitative interpretation.

Results: Suffering a pituitary tumour was overwhelming for many patients and struggling with existential issues was common. Patients expressed loneliness and vulnerability before and after surgery. How professionals handled information in connection with diagnosis greatly affected the patients. Other patients with the same diagnosis were experienced as the greatest support. Normalisation of bodily symptoms and relationships with others were reported during postoperative recovery. However, a fear that the tumour would return was present.

Conclusions: Patients with pituitary tumours need structured support, including peer support, which acknowledges physical, cognitive as well as emotional and existential concerns. Information related to diagnosis and surgery should be adapted in relation to the loneliness and the existential seriousness of the situation. Care and support for patients with pituitary tumours should preferably be organised based on continuity and an unbroken care pathway from the first pre-operative evaluation through to post-operative care and the start of a life-long endocrine treatment and tumour surveillance.

Open access

Gudmundur Johannsson, Martin Bidlingmaier, Beverly M K Biller, Margaret Boguszewski, Felipe F Casanueva, Philippe Chanson, Peter E Clayton, Catherine S Choong, David Clemmons, Mehul Dattani, Jan Frystyk, Ken Ho, Andrew R Hoffman, Reiko Horikawa, Anders Juul, John J Kopchick, Xiaoping Luo, Sebastian Neggers, Irene Netchine, Daniel S Olsson, Sally Radovick, Ron Rosenfeld, Richard J Ross, Katharina Schilbach, Paulo Solberg, Christian Strasburger, Peter Trainer, Kevin C J Yuen, Kerstin Wickstrom, Jens O L Jorgensen and on behalf of the Growth Hormone Research Society

Objective

The Growth Hormone Research Society (GRS) convened a Workshop in 2017 to evaluate clinical endpoints, surrogate endpoints and biomarkers during GH treatment of children and adults and in patients with acromegaly.

Participants

GRS invited 34 international experts including clinicians, basic scientists, a regulatory scientist and physicians from the pharmaceutical industry.

Evidence

Current literature was reviewed and expert opinion was utilized to establish the state of the art and identify current gaps and unmet needs.

Consensus process

Following plenary presentations, breakout groups discussed questions framed by the planning committee. The attendees re-convened after each breakout session to share the group reports. A writing team compiled the breakout session reports into a document that was subsequently discussed and revised by participants. This was edited further and circulated for final review after the meeting. Participants from pharmaceutical companies were not part of the writing process.

Conclusions

The clinical endpoint in paediatric GH treatment is adult height with height velocity as a surrogate endpoint. Increased life expectancy is the ideal but unfeasible clinical endpoint of GH treatment in adult GH-deficient patients (GHDA) and in patients with acromegaly. The pragmatic clinical endpoints in GHDA include normalization of body composition and quality of life, whereas symptom relief and reversal of comorbidities are used in acromegaly. Serum IGF-I is widely used as a biomarker, even though it correlates weakly with clinical endpoints in GH treatment, whereas in acromegaly, normalization of IGF-I may be related to improvement in mortality. There is an unmet need for novel biomarkers that capture the pleiotropic actions of GH in relation to GH treatment and in patients with acromegaly.