Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Drug Reduces Abdominal Fat Accumulation And Improves Lipids In HIV-infected Patients

Date:
December 6, 2007
Source:
Massachusetts General Hospital
Summary:
Treatment with an investigational drug that induces the release of growth hormone significantly improved the symptoms of HIV lipodystrophy, a condition involving the redistribution of fat and other metabolic changes in patients receiving combination drug therapy for HIV infection.

Treatment with an investigational drug that induces the release of growth hormone significantly improved the symptoms of HIV lipodystrophy, a condition involving the redistribution of fat and other metabolic changes in patients receiving combination drug therapy for HIV infection.

A team led by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and McGill University Health Centre found that treatment with tesamorelin, a growth-hormone-releasing factor, significantly reduced deep abdominal fat deposits and improved the metabolic aspects of HIV lipodystrophy in a group of patients with the syndrome. The report of a six-month Phase 3 clinical trial of tesamorelin appears in the December 6 New England Journal of Medicine.

"This appears to be the most promising strategy to date for a safe, effective method of reducing excess visceral fat deposits and improving lipid abnormalities in HIV-infected patients, thereby improving their risk for cardiovascular disease," says Steven Grinspoon, MD, of the MGH Neuroendocrine Unit and Program in Nutritional Metabolism, the report's senior and corresponding author.

A significant number of HIV-infected individuals who receive antiviral therapy develop lipodystrophy. Symptoms of the syndrome include a loss of subcutaneous fat in the face, arms, and legs and increased fat deposits in the abdomen. The metabolic aspects of the syndrome -- changes in cholesterol and other blood lipids, and development of insulin resistance -- could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in HIV-infected patients.

Earlier studies found that growth hormone secretion is reduced in men with lipodystrophy. Since directly injecting growth hormone can have significant side effects, researchers at the MGH previously investigated the use of growth-hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) to increase levels in a way that mimics natural control of hormone levels. In a 2004 study, they showed that patients receiving GHRH injections appeared to have more normal growth hormone levels and improvements in fat distribution.

The current study followed up an earlier Phase 2 study of tesamorelin, a growth-hormone-releasing factor that can be dosed only once a day instead of twice. Study participants -- HIV lipodystrophy patients recruited from 43 sites around the U.S. and Canada -- were randomly assigned to receive either tesamorelin or a placebo, self administered daily for six months. At the end of the study period, researchers measured participants' visceral fat -- deposits around organs deep in the abdomen -- and subcutaneous fat in arms and legs. They also recorded key lipid measurements and levels of the hormone IGF-1, which reflects the release of growth hormone. In addition, participants were surveyed at the beginning and end of the study on their perceptions of their bodies and any distress they felt.

Among the more than 325 participants who completed the study, those receiving tesamorelin had significant reductions in abdominal fat, measured by CT scan, resulting in a 20 percent difference from those in the placebo group. Lipid measurements -- including triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL, and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL -- also improved significantly; IGF-1 levels reflected increased release of growth hormone in the tesamorelin group. Participants receiving the drug also reported significant improvements in their body image and reduced levels of distress.

"Patients treated with tesamorelin saw their abdominal fat decrease by 15% on average, compared to a 5% average increase for the placebo group", explained Dr. Falutz. "Also, the side-effects are minimal."

"Longer-term studies are necessary to confirm our results, and another confirmatory Phase 3 trial needs to be completed to comply with FDA requirements," says Grinspoon. "But this study shows clearly that the novel strategy of inducing the release of endogenous growth hormone can improve symptoms of lipodystrophy, relieving patient distress -- which may improve their compliance with therapy -- and reducing several cardiovascular risk factors." Grinspoon is an associate professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The study was supported by Theratechnologies, a biopharmaceutical company based in Montrιal that is developing tesamorelin, and the data were analyzed by Quintiles, Canada. Julian Falutz, MD, of McGill University Health Center, is the first author. Additional co-authors are Soraya Allas, MD, PhD, Koenraad Blot, MD, and Diane Potvin, MSc, Theratechnologies; Donald Kotler, MD, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons; Michael Somero, MD, Palm Springs, Calif.; Daniel Berger, MD, Northstar Health Care, Chicago; Stephen Brown, MD, AIDS Research Alliance, Los Angeles; Gary Richmond, MD, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Jeffrey Fessel, Kaiser Foundation Research Institute, San Francisco; and Ralph Turner, MD, PhD, Phase V Techologies, Wellesley, Mass.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Massachusetts General Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Massachusetts General Hospital. "New Drug Reduces Abdominal Fat Accumulation And Improves Lipids In HIV-infected Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071205190850.htm>.
Massachusetts General Hospital. (2007, December 6). New Drug Reduces Abdominal Fat Accumulation And Improves Lipids In HIV-infected Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071205190850.htm
Massachusetts General Hospital. "New Drug Reduces Abdominal Fat Accumulation And Improves Lipids In HIV-infected Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071205190850.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Japan's Golden Generation Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

Japan's Golden Generation Shows No Sign of Slowing Down

AFP (Aug. 27, 2014) — For many people in the autumn of their lives, walking up stairs is the biggest physical challenge they face. But in Japan, race tracks, hammer or pole vault await competitors at the Kyoto Masters, some of them more than 100 years old. Duration: 02:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) — Cardiac experts are testing a new experimental device designed to eliminate major surgery and still keep the heart on track. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins