Pituitary tumor disappearance in a patient with newly diagnosed acromegaly primarily treated with octreotide LAR

Department of Endocrinological and Metabolic Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.
Journal of endocrinological investigation (Impact Factor: 1.45). 03/2005; 28(2):166-9. DOI: 10.1007/BF03345361
Source: PubMed


We describe the case of an acromegalic patient primarily treated with octreotide LAR in whom the pituitary tumor disappeared after 18 months of treatment. A 68-yr-old woman, with clinical suspicion of acromegaly, was admitted to our Unit with the ultrasonographical evidence of cardiac hypertrophy, arrhythmias, right branch block and interatrial septum aneurism. She referred hands and feet enlargement since the age of 30 and facial disfigurements since the age of 50. At the age of 45 she underwent surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome and at the age of 61 an euthyroid nodular goiter was diagnosed. Hormonal evaluation showed elevated circulating GH levels (25+/-3.2 ng/ml), not suppressible after oral glucose load, and elevated IGF-I levels (646 ng/ml), whereas the remaining pituitary function was normal. Visual perimetry was normal, whereas magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed an intrasellar pituitary adenoma with maximal diameter of 9 mm. In order to improve cardiovascular function before surgery, the patient started octreotide LAR 20 mg every 4 weeks for 3 months. Then based on IGF-I values, the dose was adjusted to 30 mg. After 6 months a second MRI showed significant tumor reduction (>50% of baseline maximal diameter), GH and IGF-I were within the normal range and the patient continued the treatment. After one-year therapy, an improvement of cardiac alterations was recorded and the patient was referred to the neurosurgeon. However, she refused the operation. At 18-month follow-up, MRI showed the complete disappearance of direct and indirect signs of pituitary adenoma. To our knowledge, this is the first case of complete radiological remission of pituitary tumor during octreotide LAR treatment in acromegaly.

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    ABSTRACT: Acromegaly is an insidious disease that, in most cases, is a result of a pituitary adenoma that hypersecretes growth hormone (GH). The goals of therapy are to control excess GH secretion and limit, if not reverse, the long-term medical consequences and risk of premature mortality associated with acromegaly. Surgery is currently the preferred primary therapeutic option because it can lead to rapid reductions in GH levels and prevent mass effects from local tumor growth. Medical therapy is used most often in an adjuvant, secondary role for patients in whom surgery has been unsuccessful. Radiation therapy is most commonly recommended in the setting of failed surgery and lack of adequate control with medical therapy. A role of primary medical therapy for patients de novo has been proposed, particularly with regard to somatostatin analogues. These analogues may control GH levels and reduce tumor volume in up to 50% of subjects, suggesting that they may be efficacious in this context. The use of somatostatin analogues to improve surgical outcome has also been proposed, but there is a lack of randomized trials available to address this issue. Primary medical therapy is well tolerated and further studies are necessary to identify patients who should be targeted for such therapy.
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    ABSTRACT: Neurosurgery is regarded as the first-line treatment of acromegaly. Because of its low cure rate in macro and invasive adenoma, the role of primary medical treatment is debated. Our objective was to evaluate primary pharmacological treatment in acromegaly. We conducted an open prospective study at two Italian tertiary level centers. We studied 67 consecutive patients (36 women; age, 54.9 +/- 14.2 yr; 72% bearing macroadenoma). Intervention: Individually tailored octreotide LAR (OCLAR) was administered. Outcomes included safe GH (<2.5 mug/liter), normal age-matched IGF-I levels, and tumor shrinkage. After a median follow-up of 48 months (range, 6-108 months), safe GH levels and normal age-matched IGF-I values were obtained by 68.7 and 70.1% of patients, respectively. Hormonal endpoints were achieved regardless of basal levels, and early results were predictive of outcome. Tumor shrank in 82.1% of patients by 62 +/- 31% (range, 0-100%), decreasing from 2101 +/- 2912 to 1010 +/- 2196 mm(3) (P < 0.0001). The higher the basal GH values and the greater the GH/IGF-I changes on treatment, the greater the tumor shrinkage. Tumor disappeared in three patients and was progressively reduced to empty sella in five patients; apparent magnetic resonance imaging cavernous sinus invasion disappeared in three. In males, testosterone increased, restoring eugonadism in 64% of hypogonadal patients. The efficacy on GH/IGF-I levels in unselected patients and the outstanding volumetric control indicate that treatment with OCLAR may be the first therapeutic approach to all acromegalic patients not amenable to surgical cure. Tumor shrinkage might also encourage the evaluation of primary OCLAR adoption in patients with initial visual field defects.
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