The authors examined the effect of recombinant-human growth hormone (r- hGH) and insulin (INS) administration on protein kinetics in cancer patients. Twenty-eight cancer patients either received r-hGH for 3 days (GH group, n = 12, weight loss = 6 ± 2%) or were not treated (control [CTL] group, n = 16, weight loss = 11 ± 2%) before metabolic study. Recombinant-human growth hormone dose was 0.1 mg/kg/day (n = 6) or 0.2 mg/kg/day (n = 6). Patients then underwent measurement of baseline protein kinetics (GH/B, CTL/B) followed by a 2-hour euglycemic insulin infusion (1 mU/kg/minute) and repeat kinetic measurements (GH/INS,CTL/INS). Whole-body protein net balance (μmol leucine/kg/minute) was higher (p < 0.05) in GH/INS (0.20 ± 0.06) than in CTL/INS (0.06 ± 0.03) or GH/B (-0.19 ± 0.03). Skeletal muscle protein net balance (nmol phenylalanine/100 g/minute) in GH/INS (25 ± 6) and CTL/INS (19 ± 5) was higher than CTL/B (-18 ± 3). Recombinant-human growth hormone and insulin reduce whole-body and skeletal muscle protein loss in cancer patients. Simultaneous use of these agents during nutritional therapy may benefit the cancer patient.
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