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recombitant human growth horrnone

Oct 6, 2003

hello dr wohl

i know recombitant human growth hormone isn't indicated in patients with pre-existing cancer for worry of growth of tumor cells. what about in patients with chronic swollen glands? should one fitting this description avoid hgh just the same as a general rule?

Response from Dr. Wohl

Recombinant human growth hormone can impact cells in a way that theoretically could lead an existing tumor to proliferate. However, whether this really happens in people, rather than in Petri dishes is not clear. Further, the risk of this happening seems to be not very great if the growth hormone level is maintained in the normal physiologic range.

Simply having swollen lymph nodes does not preclude use of growth hormone provided your clinician is reasonably sure that this in not a reflection of a malignancy. Growth hormone is most commonly used in the setting of HIV to treat body shape changes such as buffalo hump and fat accumulation of the belly. DW

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