BACKGROUND:: Intestinotrophic therapies, such as glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) analogs, may enhance intestinal adaptation and reduce dependence on parenteral nutrition (PN) in patients with intestinal failure associated with short bowel syndrome (SBS-IF). However, because GLP-2 enhances cellular growth, there is concern that GLP-2 analogs may also encourage growth of malignant cells. AIMS:: To histologically examine the effects of teduglutide, a recombinant human GLP-2 analog, on the mucosa of the small and large intestine for indications of dysplastic transformation. METHODS:: In a multicenter, prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 83 PN-dependent patients with SBS-IF were monitored for several weeks to ensure optimal and stable PN. Patients were then randomized to receive 24 weeks of placebo (n=16), teduglutide (0.5 mg/kg/d; n=35), or teduglutide (0.10 mg/kg/d; n=32). RESULTS:: Biopsies were obtained from 77 patients to yield 390 individual histologic interpretations. After 6 months of treatment, no features of dysplasia were found in any biopsy from the large or small intestine of patients receiving placebo or either dose of teduglutide. New secondary diagnoses, such as eosinophilic colitis or Crohn's disease, were found at a low frequency overall: teduglutide (0.05 mg/kg/d; range, 3.1% to 6.3%); teduglutide (0.10 mg/kg/d, 3.3%); placebo (range, 6.7% to 13.3%). CONCLUSIONS:: Although this histologic substudy of biopsy samples was not powered to detect differences in occurrence of dysplasia between teduglutide-treated patients and those randomized to placebo, it demonstrated that no dysplasia or other pathologic processes were evident within the intestinal mucosa in the placebo group or the 2 teduglutide groups after 6 months of treatment.
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