Anita Hokken-Koelega, Aart-Jan van der Lely, Berthold Hauffa, Gabriele Häusler, Gudmundur Johannsson, Mohamad Maghnie, Jesús Argente, Jean DeSchepper, Helena Gleeson, John W Gregory, Charlotte Höybye, Fahrettin Keleştimur, Anton Luger, Hermann L Müller, Sebastian Neggers, Vera Popovic-Brkic, Eleonora Porcu, Lars Sävendahl, Stephen Shalet, Bessie Spiliotis and Maithé Tauber
Seamless transition of endocrine patients from the paediatric to adult setting is still suboptimal, especially in patients with complex disorders, i.e., small for gestational age, Turner or Prader–Willi syndromes; Childhood Cancer Survivors, and those with childhood-onset growth hormone deficiency.
An expert panel meeting comprised of European paediatric and adult endocrinologists was convened to explore the current gaps in managing the healthcare of patients with endocrine diseases during transition from paediatric to adult care settings.
While a consensus was reached that a team approach is best, discussions revealed that a ‘one size fits all’ model for transition is largely unsuccessful in these patients. They need more tailored care during adolescence to prevent complications like failure to achieve target adult height, reduced bone mineral density, morbid obesity, metabolic perturbations (obesity and body composition), inappropriate/inadequate puberty, compromised fertility, diminished quality of life and failure to adapt to the demands of adult life. Sometimes it is difficult for young people to detach emotionally from their paediatric endocrinologist and/or the abrupt change from an environment of parental responsibility to one of autonomy. Discussions about impending transition and healthcare autonomy should begin in early adolescence and continue throughout young adulthood to ensure seamless continuum of care and optimal treatment outcomes.
Even amongst a group of healthcare professionals with a great interest in improving transition services for patients with endocrine diseases, there is still much work to be done to improve the quality of healthcare for transition patients.
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
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.
GRS invited 34 international experts including clinicians, basic scientists, a regulatory scientist and physicians from the pharmaceutical industry.
Current literature was reviewed and expert opinion was utilized to establish the state of the art and identify current gaps and unmet needs.
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.
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.