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January 23, 1995

Acromegaly and Gastrointestinal Cancer

Author Affiliations

Boston, Mass

Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(2):213. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430020107014

The article by Terzolo et al1 highlights once again the increased occurrence of colonic polyps in patients with acromegaly compared with a control group.1 In this regard, we would like to call your attention to some additional data pertinent to this subject.

Ron and coworkers2 followed up a cohort of 1041 acromegalic men for a mean of 8.3 years and noted an increased rate not only of colon cancer (n=13; standard incidence ratio, 3.1), but also of esophageal cancer (n=7; standard incidence ratio, 3.1) and stomach cancer (n=4; standard incidence ratio, 2.5). This study also showed an increased incidence of digestive cancers prior to the diagnosis of acromegaly. It is uncertain whether this indicates the effect of increased growth hormone on the gastrointestinal tract or if both conditions are a manifestation of an unknown underlying syndrome.

Payer and associates3 described a patient with acromegaly due to a