Paradoxical and atypical responses to pasireotide in aggressive ACTH-secreting pituitary tumors

Yona Greenman, Naftali Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Pasireotide is the only pituitary targeted medication registered for the treatment of Cushing’s disease. Drug efficacy data are largely based on a major prospective study in which the vast majority of patients had microadenomas. The purpose of this study was to summarize results of pasireotide treatment of ACTH secreting macroadenomas from our center. Methods: Retrospective review of data extracted from clinical files. Results: Three patients presented with large and invasive macroadenomas that required several surgical interventions and radiotherapy treatments. Patient 1 is a 57 year-old male who developed an extreme (27-fold) paradoxical response of urinary free cortisol (UFC) levels as measured 2 weeks after pasireotide institution, which increased further (71-fold) in response to dose increment but decreased to baseline levels after treatment interruption. Patient 2 is a 44 year old woman with a long standing (26 years) ACTH-secreting carcinoma metastatic to bone and after bilateral adrenalectomy. After an initial excellent response to pasireotide treatment, ACTH levels escaped suppression and a further rebound was noted 6 weeks after treatment interruption. Patient 3 is a 53 year old man that after escape from temozolomide therapy was started on pasireotide and rapidly responded by almost normalizing UFC excretion after 4 weeks, but returned to baseline UFC levels after four additional weeks of treatment. Conclusions: We describe as yet unreported atypical responses to pasireotide treatment in patients with aggressive ACTH-secreting tumors. Increased vigilance is recommended during pasireotide treatment of such patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-611
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Atypical tumor
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Paradoxical response
  • Pasireotide
  • Pituitary carcinoma


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