Incidence of a second tumor in hypopituitary patients operated for pituitary tumors

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Recently, an association between increased blood levels of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and increased risks of prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal cancers has been suggested. As today adults with GH deficiency are subjected to GH substitution, there is a pressing need for baseline tumor incidence data. The aim of the study was to assess the risk for a second tumor in a cohort of 328 patients with hypopituitarism treated for a pituitary tumor from 1958-1992. The patients were receiving conventional hormone treatment, but without GH substitution. The overall tumor incidence [standardized incidence ratio (SIR)] was lower than expected (0.85), but the 95% confidence interval (CI) did not exclude unity (0.59-1.21). Only two prostate cancers occurred (SIR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.04-1.24). Two brain tumors (SIR, 1.96; 95% CI, 0.24-7.08) and two endocrine tumors (part of multiple endocrine neoplasm syndromes; SIR, 4.00; 95% CI, 0.48-14.5) had occurred. When excluding brain and endocrine tumors, the overall SIR decreased to 0.77, but did still not differ significantly from unity (0.52-1.13). Thus, a tendency for a decreased overall tumor risk, although not statistically significant, was noted, especially when excluding brain and endocrine tumors. This tendency was more emphasized for prostate cancer, but low numbers hamper a firm conclusion. These results may serve as a baseline for tumor risk among adult patients with pituitary insufficiency supplemented with GH.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Clinical Medicine
  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-662
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch