Medicine: Hormones & Disease

New approaches to the control of a variety of diseases, using chemical variants of the body's natural hormones, were reported last week by research teams from Manhattan's Sloan-Kettering Institute.

Trickiest of the hormones has been the one secreted by the pituitary gland, which stimulates growth. Overproduction in childhood makes a giant. In the adult it can cause acromegaly (a localized form of gigantism, with enlargement of the jaw and extremities), can also aggravate diabetes and may speed the spread of cancer originating in the breast. Hitherto, the only way to halt the effects of growth hormone was to destroy the pituitary by...

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