Ectopic growth hormone-releasing hormone secretion by a bronchial carcinoid tumor: clinical experience following tumor resection and long-acting octreotide therapy

Published on Friday, 19 January 2018


Acromegaly resulting from the ectopic secretion of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) is rare.

We present a case of acromegaly secondary to proven GHRH-secretion by a bronchial carcinoid tumor in a type 1 diabetic subject and document the clinical course pre- and post-resection of the tumor and of subsequent octreotide therapy.

A 54-year-old Caucasian man was referred for evaluation of acromegalic symptoms and significantly increased insulin requirements. He had a history of left lung surgery 20 years prior for hemoptysis.

Initial laboratory results indicated acromegaly. Fasting serum growth hormone (GH): 26.1 ng/mL (0-5 ng/mL), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1): 635 ng/mL (87-283 ng/mL), GH at 60 min post-ingestion of 75 grams of oral glucose during a glucose tolerance test: 8.3 ng/mL (normal < 1 ng/mL).

Pituitary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) revealed diffuse pituitary enlargement without adenoma. A 4.4 cm left hilar mass was noted on chest computed tomography (CT) scan. Further evaluation for a suspected GHRH-secreting neuroendocrine tumor was pursued. Plasma GHRH level was elevated: 198 pg/mL (<50 pg/mL).

Octreoscan showed radiolabelled-octreotide uptake in the left lung mass and pituitary gland. Surgical resection of the lung mass was performed. Immunohistochemical study of the tumor tissue indicated a neuroendocrine tumor secreting GHRH.

Postoperatively, serum GHRH, GH and IGF-1 levels fell precipitously.

At 10 months, IGF-1 levels were mildly elevated and 7 months of 10 mg long-acting octreotide therapy (Sandostatin(®) LAR(®)) was trialed. At 20 months, off octreotide, serum IGF-1 levels had normalized, acromegalic features were receding, and the patient's daily insulin requirements had decreased by 57%.


About this publication.

See also:

- Somatostatin in oncology, the overlooked evidences;

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Somatostatin, Octreotide, analogues and/or derivatives);

- Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: clinical records on 17 patients treated with Di Bella's Method;

- The Di Bella Method Increases by the 30% the survival rate for Pancreas tumors and for this reason should be proposed as first line therapy for this type of cancer;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients with low performance status;

- Somatostatin, retinoids, melatonin, vitamin D, bromocriptine, and cyclophosphamide in chemotherapy-pretreated patients with advanced lung adenocarcinoma and low performance status;

- Observations on the Report of a case of pulmonary adenocarcinoma with lymph node, hepatic and osseus metastasis;

- Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme (grade IV – WHO 2007): a case of complete objective response achieved by means of the concomitant administration of Somatostatin and Octreotide – Retinoids – Vitamin E – Vitamin D3 – Vitamin C – Melatonin – D2 R agonists (Di Bella Method – DBM) associated with Temozolomide.