Giuseppe Reimondo, Soraya Puglisi, Barbara Zaggia, Vittoria Basile, Laura Saba, Paola Perotti, Silvia De Francia, Marco Volante, Maria Chiara Zatelli, Salvatore Cannavò and Massimo Terzolo
Mitotane, a drug used to treat adrenocortical cancer (ACC), inhibits multiple enzymatic steps of adrenocortical steroid biosynthesis, potentially causing adrenal insufficiency. Recent studies in vitro have also documented a direct inhibitory effect of mitotane at the pituitary level. The present study was aimed to assess the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis in patients with ACC receiving mitotane.
Design and methods
We prospectively enrolled 16 patients on adjuvant treatment with mitotane after radical surgical resection of ACC, who underwent standard hormone evaluation and h-CRH stimulation. A group of 10 patients with primary adrenal insufficiency (PAI) served as controls for the CRH test.
We demonstrated a close correlation between cortisol-binding globulin (CBG) and plasma mitotane levels, and a non-significant trend between mitotane dose and either serum or salivary cortisol in ACC patients. We did not find any correlation between the dose of cortisone acetate and either ACTH or cortisol levels. ACTH levels were significantly higher in patients with PAI than that in patients with ACC, both in baseline conditions (88.99 (11.04–275.00) vs 24.53 (6.16–121.88) pmol/L, P = 0.031) and following CRH (158.40 (34.32–275.00) vs 67.43 (8.8–179.52) pmol/L P = 0.016).
The observation of lower ACTH levels in patients with ACC than that in patients with PAI, both in basal conditions and after CRH stimulation, suggests that mitotane may play an inhibitory effect on ACTH secretion at the pituitary levels. In conclusion, the present study shows that mitotane affects the HPA axis at multiple levels and no single biomarker may be used for the assessment of adrenal insufficiency.
Alfredo Berruti, Paola Sperone, Anna Ferrero, Antonina Germano, Arianna Ardito, Adriano Massimiliano Priola, Silvia De Francia, Marco Volante, Fulvia Daffara, Daniele Generali, Sophie Leboulleux, Paola Perotti, Eric Baudin, Mauro Papotti and Massimo Terzolo
There is a strong rationale in the use of antiangiogenic therapy in the management of adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC). Metronomic administration of chemotherapy and antiangiogenic drugs can be synergistic in targeting endothelial cells.
We assessed the activity of sorafenib plus metronomic paclitaxel as second/third-line therapy in advanced ACC patients. We also tested the activity of sorafenib and paclitaxel against NCI-H295R in vitro.
Multicenter, prospective phase II trial.
Referral centers for ACC.
Twenty-five consecutive metastatic ACC patients who progressed after mitotane plus one or two chemotherapy lines were planned to be enrolled. The patients received a combination of i.v. paclitaxel (60 mg/m2 every week) and oral sorafenib (400 mg twice a day) till progression. The primary aim was to measure the progression-free survival rate after 4 months and the secondary aims were to assess the objective response rate and toxicity.
Tumor progression was observed in nine evaluable patients at the first assessment. These results led to the premature interruption of the trial. The treatment was well tolerated. The most relevant toxicities were fatigue, being grade 2 or 3 in four patients, and hypophosphatemia, being grade 3 in three patients. In the in vitro study, sorafenib impaired the viability of H295R cells with dose–response and time–response relationships. The in vitro sorafenib activity was not increased in combination with paclitaxel.
Despite the in vitro activity, sorafenib plus weekly paclitaxel is an inactive salvage treatment in patients with advanced ACC and should not be recommended.
Deborah Cosentini, Giuseppe Badalamenti, Salvatore Grisanti, Vittoria Basile, Ida Rapa, Sara Cerri, Andrea Spallanzani, Paola Perotti, Emanuela Musso, Marta Laganà, Vittorio D Ferrari, Gabriele Luppi, Alberto Dalla Volta, Lorena Incorvaia, Sandra Sigala, Antonio Russo, Marco Volante, Massimo Terzolo and Alfredo Berruti
Temozolomide has shown a significant anti-proliferative activity on adrenocortical cancer (ACC) cells in vitro.
On the basis of these results the drug was prescribed as second/third line in advanced metastatic ACC patients in four referral centers in Italy.
We retrospectively collected anagraphic, clinical and pathological data of patients with advanced ACC with disease progression to standard chemotherapy plus mitotane who were treated with temozolomide at the dose of 200 mg/m2/die given for 5 consecutive days every 28 days. The primary endpoint was the disease control rate, defined as objective response or disease stabilization after 3 months. Secondary endpoints were overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS) and drug safety.
Twenty-eight patients have been included in the study. Ten patients (35.8%, 95% CI: 17.8–53.8) obtained a disease control from temozolomide treatment. In particular, 1 patient had a complete response, 5 patients a partial response and 4 patients stable disease. Median PFS was 3.5 months and median OS was 7.2 months. Disease response was more frequently observed in patients with methylation of O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) gene. Temozolomide therapy was well tolerated and most toxicities were limited to grade G1–2 according to WHO criteria.
Temozolomide was found active in the management of advanced ACC patients. The disease control rate obtained, however, was short-lived and the prognosis of treated patients was poor.