Asked by Mike Wiggins, Downs, Illinois
Do you believe it would help cancer patients to have lots of human growth hormone, which seems to be so beneficial for athletes?
Dr. Otis Brawley
Chief Medical Officer,
American Cancer Society
Thanks for your question. Recent data suggest that the increased levels of growth factors such as insulin-like growth hormones (or insulin) and erythropoietin, which is also in the family of growth factor and stimulates red blood cell growth, both increase growth of already-present cancers. Some of the newer cancer-fighting drugs actually work by inhibiting certain growth factors.
I know of and can find no data specifically on human growth hormone and cancer, but my assessment of the known data on other growth factors makes me worry that human growth factor would not help cancer patients and may actually be harmful.
Increased HGF leads to increased height and growth of certain bones. Dwarves have a deficiency of HGF and are treated with HGF to attain normal height. People with increased HGF secretion have abnormal growth of their jaw, hands and feet. Injections are thought to improve athletic performance by increasing lean muscle mass and are thought to decrease aging.
In high dose, it might be a promoter or stimulator of tumor growth.
|Most Viewed||Most Emailed||Top Searches|
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.
The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.