Partial surgical removal of growth hormone-secreting pituitary tumors enhances the response to somatostatin analogs in acromegaly

Annamaria Colao, Roberto Attanasio, Rosario Pivonello, Paolo Cappabianca, Luigi M. Cavallo, Giovanni Lasio, Alessandro Lodrini, Gaȩtano Lombardi, Renato Cozzi

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Abstract

Context: Surgery is a cornerstone in the treatment of acromegaly, but its efficacy in large, invasive tumors is scant. Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate whether partial surgical removal of GH-secreting pituitary tumors enhances the response rate to somatostatin analogs (SSA; sc octreotide, slow-release octreotide, and lanreotide). Design: This was a multicenter, open, retrospective study. Setting: The study was performed at university hospitals. Subjects and Methods: Eighty-six-patients (42 women and 44 men; age, 42 ± 14 yr) with acromegaly were studied. Interventions: Patients underwent two courses of octreotide, lanreotide, or slow-release octreotide treatments before and after surgery of at least 6 months. Main Outcome Measure: The main outcome measure was normal IGF-I levels for age. Results: Presurgical SSA treatment significantly decreased GH and IGF-I levels in all patients. GH levels were less than 2.5 μg/liter in 12 patients (14%); IGF-I levels normalized in nine (10%). After surgery, GH and IGF-I levels further decreased in all patients; tumor removal was greater than 75% in 50 (58%), 50.1-75% in 21 (24%), 25.1-50% in 10 (12%), and less than 25% in five patients (6%). Preoperatively, pituitary function was impaired in 12 patients (14%). Postsurgical SSA treatment lowered GH levels to less than 2.5 μg/liter in 49 (56%) and normalized IGF-I levels in 48 patients (55%). The success rate was significantly increased compared with that before surgery (P <0.0001). GH (r = -0.48; P <0.0001) and IGF-I levels (r = -0.38; P = 0.0003) after postsurgery SSA treatment correlated with the amount of tumor surgically removed. After surgery, pituitary function was impaired in 28 patients (32.6%) and was improved in 12 patients (13.9%). The cumulative prevalence of pituitary deficiency did not change during the study (normal function from 40 to 42%; deficiency from 60 to 58%). Conclusions: Surgical tumor removal (>75%) enhances the response to SSAs without impairing pituitary function. Our data indicate that surgical debulking has a significant place in the treatment algorithm of acromegaly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume91
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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