Experience with human growth hormone in Great Britain: the report of the MRC Working Party

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1979 Jul;11(1):15-38. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.1979.tb03043.x.


The Working Party on human growth hormone (hGH) has during the past decade developed a system for the evaluation and treatment of patients suffering from hGH lack. Today there are nineteen measurement centres in the United Kingdom at which patients are assessed and where the effects of therapy are monitored. The current supply of hGH, which is prepared from pituitary glands collected by pathologists in the National Health Service, is just enough to meet demand, but research conducted on behalf of the Working Party suggests that hGH deficiency is more common than has been thought and that the prevalence may be as high as one in 10 000. If, as is hoped, patients are diagnosed younger and more patients with partial deficiency are recognized, demand may soon outstrip supply. Work is in progress to define better methods of hGH production and optimal dose regimens, both of which will help to minimize the problem of supply and demand. A few children have anti-hGH antibodies, which block growth as a result of treatment. Improved hGH production techniques may result in a less antigenic product and the resolution of this problem. Many of the Working Party's activities began as research and have evolved into service. Because of this shift in emphasis, and although much research is still to be done, responsibility for provision of treatment with hGH transferred from the Medical Research Council to the Department of Health and Social Security in July 1977.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Determination by Skeleton
  • Antibody Formation
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Growth Disorders / drug therapy
  • Growth Disorders / physiopathology
  • Growth Hormone / deficiency
  • Growth Hormone / isolation & purification
  • Growth Hormone / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pituitary Gland / analysis
  • United Kingdom


  • Growth Hormone