New pituitary specific treatment for Cushing’s

An investigational somatostatin analogue has significantly reduced elevated cortisol levels in patients with Cushing’s disease, researchers report.

Of 103 patients, 61 had a ‘substantial reduction’ (≥50%) in urinary free cortisol level at month six, the randomised double blind phase 3 trial found.

The reduction in urinary free cortisol in response to pasireotide was also accompanied by reductions in serum cortisol and plasma coticotropin levels, as well as improvements in signs and symptoms of Cushing’s disease, the US researchers reported in this week’s NEJM.

Body weight, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and LDL cholesterol levels were significantly reduced, and scores for health related quality of life improved.

Side effects included transient gastrointestinal discomfort and hyperglycaemia related events.


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