IN THIS issue of the Archives, Zvulunov et al1 report the absence of an apparent effect on nevus count of growth hormone administration in growth hormone-deficient children compared with control children. It is not illogical that preexisting nevi might be given a growth stimulus by exogenous growth hormones and indeed, in other studies,2,3 exogenous growth hormone therapy has been suggested as being able to stimulate the growth rate of nevi, and increased DNA strand breaks have been noted in patients with Rothmund-Thomson syndrome treated with growth hormones.4 It is perhaps reasonable to assume that if the exogenous growth hormone is truly a replacement hormone, ie, the hormone is administered in amounts to mimic those found in individuals without growth hormone deficiency, there should be little effect on nevus growth in treated patients compared with healthy controls. Pharmacological doses may be another matter.
The study by Zvulunov et
McLean DI, Gallagher RP. Hormones, Immunology, Nevi, and Melanoma. Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(6):783-784. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890420129021