New Acromegaly clinical practice guidelines

Today the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) released updated Medical Guidelines for Clinical Practice for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Acromegaly. The guidelines are published in the most recent issue of the association's official medical journal, Endocrine Practice (Katznelson L, et al. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Medical Guidelines for Clinical Practice for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Acromegaly. Endocr Pract. 2011;17(Suppl 4):1-44).

Acromegaly is a condition often associated with gigantism, and is the result of an overactive pituitary gland producing excess growth hormone (GH). The new guidelines offer the latest treatment options for Acromegaly, assembled by some of the world's foremost leaders in the field. The updated guidelines also include a treatment algorithm that can be used by physicians to help guide their treatment plans. The Algorithm can be found online at AACE.com.

"These guidelines include the very latest in treatment options," said Dr. Laurence Katznelson, Chairman of the AACE Committee which developed the guidelines. "With a variety of new approaches to therapy, including new combinations of medications, these guidelines will help physicians make the best diagnostic and treatment decisions for their patients with Acromegaly."

New therapy guidelines include combinations of medications, including the combined use of somatostatin analogs and a growth hormone receptor agonist. Such combinations have been shown to be efficient at normalizing biochemical values and potentially more cost-effective.

"As the President of AACE, I am proud of the association's role as the leader in useful clinical practice guidelines," said Dr. Yehuda Handelsman, an endocrinologist in Tarzana, CA and current president of AACE. "Our members continue to be the leaders in providing the most up-to-date information to help patients with all endocrine disorders. Physicians treating patients with Acromegaly will find these guidelines invaluable."

The updated Acromegaly guidelines also highlight the possibility for up front medical therapy for patients with certain pituitary tumors associated with Acromegaly. This is a critically important option for patients who wish to avoid surgery, or in cases where surgery is unlikely to cure the tumor completely.

Also new to the Guidelines are treatment parameters for patients with Acromegaly who are pregnant, or who may become pregnant.

"By combining a systematic review of the literature with the clinical experience of a group of pituitary specialists, we have synthesized a concrete and reasonable approach to managing these patients," said Dr. Katznelson. "Hopefully, these guidelines will lead to earlier and more appropriate diagnosis as well as improved management so that biochemical control may be attained in the vast majority of patients."

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