Etomidate Found Effective in Severe Cushing’s Syndrome

Etomidate — a steroid synthesis blocker — is an effective treatment for patients with severe Cushing’s syndrome who do not respond to ketoconazole, according to a new case report from Mexico.

The report, “Etomidate in the control of severe Cushing’s syndrome by neuroendocrine carcinoma,” appeared in the journal Clinical Case Reports.

The investigators reported the case of a 51-year-old woman with ectopic Cushing’s syndrome caused by a pancreatic tumor. Ectopic Cushing’s refers to cases of excess secretion of adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) outside the pituitary or adrenal glands.

The patient underwent distal pancreatectomy — the surgical removal of the bottom half of the pancreas — in 2015 due to an ACTH-secreting tumor. Although she had a good initial response, liver metastasis was evident by 2016.

Compared to measurements in 2016, morning blood cortisol, 24-hour urinary-free cortisol, and ACTH levels significantly increased in 2017. The patient also showed low levels of the luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones, which the scientists attributed to her severe hypercortisolism (excess cortisol levels).

The woman was being treated with ketoconazole to lower her cortisol values and later received chemoembolization — a method to reduce blood supply and deliver chemotherapy directly to a tumor — for her liver metastasis.

Although ketoconazole is generally the treatment of choice for the control of hormone production in the adrenal glands, its effectiveness is often limited and is associated with side effects, clinicians noted.

In April 2017, the patient arrived at the emergency room with sepsis — a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection — that originated in the gut.

Because ketoconazole had failed to lower cortisol levels, the patient started receiving infused etomidate, an inhibitor of the enzyme 11‐beta‐hydroxylase that prevents cortisol synthesis.

This treatment was stopped one day before the bilateral removal of the adrenal glands as a definitive treatment for the elevated production of cortisol.

While the patient experienced decreased levels of potassium, calcium, and magnesium with an initial dose of 0.04 mg per kg body weight an hour of etomidate, a gradual decrease of etomidate — depending on her cortisol levels — corrected these alterations.

After surgery, the patient showed a significant improvement in her general health, including control of her sepsis. She is currently taking hydrocortisone and fludrocortisone, with treatment for liver metastasis pending.

“Etomidate is a very effective drug in severe Cushing’s syndrome that is refractory to ketoconazole,” the researchers wrote.

“Control of the serum cortisol levels in ectopic Cushing’s syndrome can be obtained with infusion rates much lower than those used in anesthesia, without respiratory side effects,” they added.

The authors recommend an initial dose of etomidate of 0.04 mg/kg per hour, daily monitoring of 24-hour urinary cortisol and cortisol levels, and a gradual decrease of the etomidate dose according to daily measurements of metabolites.

From https://cushingsdiseasenews.com/2018/05/17/severe-cushings-syndrome-case-study-finds-etomidate-effective-therapy/

Clinical Trial for Cortendo

Cortendo Clinical Trial

 

About the Study

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study is to test the effects of different doses of COR-003 on people with endogenous Cushing’s syndrome, primarily by measuring the cortisol levels in urine and secondarily by measuring other health parameters such as blood pressure, weight, liver function, etc. This study is also being conducted to find out if COR-003 is safe to use. This study is open-label, which means both the health providers and the participants in the study are aware of the drug or treatment being given.

STUDY DESIGN:

  • The study will begin with a screening period to make sure subjects are eligible to participate in the study.
  • After the screening period, subjects who are eligible for participation will each be given several different doses of COR-003, to be taken by mouth in tablet form.
  • After an individualized dose has been selected, participants will take COR-003 for 6 months.
  • Finally, participants will continue in the study for an additional 6 months at doses to be determined by the study doctor.
  • Throughout the study, participants will meet regularly with a study doctor and will take part in a variety of medical tests to make sure they are doing well and to see if COR-003 is working.
  • Participants in the study should be sure they have the time to participate. Participants will generally be followed for over a year.

See if you may be eligible for this clinical study. By providing your contact information, you will receive more information about the study and your eligibility.

About Cortendo

Cortendo is the sponsor of this study. This means Cortendo planned and organized this study. Cortendo will also collect and analyze the data from the study.

Cortendo is a global pharmaceutical company primarily focused on researching and providing treatments for rare diseases in endocrinology, such as Cushing’s syndrome. The company was founded in Sweden and its worldwide headquarters is located just outside of Philadelphia.

Fill out this form for more information: https://www.cushingssyndromestudy.com/registration.aspx

Research Study: An Open Label Study to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of COR-003 (2S, 4R-ketoconazole) in the Treatment of Endogenous Cushing’s Syndrome

Objectives:         

The purpose of this study is to test the effects of different doses of COR-003 on people with Cushing’s syndrome (CS) primarily by measuring the cortisol levels in urine and secondarily by measuring other health parameters such as blood pressure, weight, and liver function. This study is also being conducted to see if there is any harm caused when using COR-003.

This study is an open label study. That means both the health providers and the participants in the study are aware of the drug or treatment being given.

Eligibility:

Adult Subjects (18 years or older) with elevated levels of cortisol due to endogenous CS.

Confirmed diagnosis of persistent or recurrent CS (with or without therapy) or newly diagnosed disease, if subjects are not candidates for surgery. CS will be defined according to the criteria in the guidelines for diagnosis of CS (Nieman 2008).

Women who are pregnant or lactating are not eligible for this study.

Individuals with other health conditions or diagnoses may not be eligible for this study.

These and other eligibility criteria are best reviewed with a doctor who is participating in the study. You can also get more detailed eligibility information about the study by clicking here to visit http://www.clinicaltrials.gov.

Study Design:

  • The study will begin with a screening period to make sure subjects are eligible to participate in the study.
  • After the screening period, subjects who are eligible for participation will each be given several different doses of COR-003, to be taken orally in tablet form.
  • After an individualized dose has been selected, participants will take COR-003 for six months.
  • Finally, participants will continue in the study for an additional six months at doses to be determined by the study doctor.

 

Throughout the study, participants will meet regularly with a study doctor and will take part in a variety of medical tests to make sure they are doing well and to see if COR-003 is working.

Participants in the study should be sure they have the time to participate. Participants will generally be followed for over a year:

Study Locations

The study is currently taking place in several places around the world (United States, Belgium, France, Israel, Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden).
Additional information on the study can be found at clinicaltrials.gov through this link.

Study sponsor: Cortendo AB

For more information, please contact:

Jim Ellis at Cortendo AB tel: +1 (610) 254-9245 or jellis@cortendo.com

 

Rare neuroendocrine tumours may be misdiagnosed as Cushing’s disease

By Eleanor McDermid, Senior medwireNews Reporter

Ectopic tumours secreting corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) are very rare in children and can result in a misdiagnosis of Cushing’s disease (CD), say researchers.

Three of the patients in the reported case series had pituitary hyperplasia and underwent transsphenoidal surgery for apparent CD before the tumour that was actually causing their symptoms was located. The hyperplasia was probably caused by release of CRH from the ectopic tumour, which stimulated the pituitary gland, giving the impression of an ACTH-secreting pituitary adenoma, explain Maya Lodish (National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA) and study co-authors.

These three patients were part of a series of seven, which Lodish et al describe as “a relatively large number of patients, considering the infrequency of this disease.”

The patients were aged between 1.8 and 21.3 years. Three had neuroendocrine tumours located in the pancreas ranging in size from 1.4 to 7.0 cm, two had thymic carcinoids ranging from 6.0 mm to 11.5 cm, one patient had a 12.0 cm tumour in the liver and one had a 1.3 cm bronchogenic carcinoid tumour of the right pulmonary lobe.

Four of the patients had metastatic disease and, during up to 57 months of follow-up, three died of metastatic disease or associated complications and two patients had recurrent disease.

“Our series demonstrates that these are aggressive tumors with a high mortality rate,” write the researchers in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. “It is important to follow the appropriate work up, regarding both biochemical and imaging tests, which can lead to the correct diagnosis and to the most beneficial therapeutic approach.”

The team found the CRH stimulation test to be helpful, noting, for example, that none of the patients had a rise in cortisol that was consistent with CD, with all patients showing smaller responses ranging from 2% to 15%. Likewise, just one patient had an ACTH rise higher than 35% on CRH administration, and four patients had a “flat” response, which has previously been associated with ectopic neuroendocrine tumours.

Of note, six patients had normal or high plasma CRH levels, despite all having high cortisol levels, which would be expected to result in undetectable plasma CRH due to negative feedback, implying another source of CRH production. Five patients had blunted diurnal variation of both cortisol and ACTH levels consistent with Cushing’s syndrome.

The patients also underwent a variety of imaging procedures to identify the source of ACTH/CRH production, some of which, such as octreotide scans, are specialist and not available in most hospitals, the researchers note, potentially contributing to inappropriate diagnosis and management.

From http://www.news-medical.net/news/20141030/Rare-neuroendocrine-tumours-may-be-misdiagnosed-as-Cushinge28099s-disease.aspx

EU Looks to Okay Ketoconazole for Use in Cushing’s Syndrome

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting a marketing authorization for ketoconazole (Ketoconazole HRA; Laboratoire HRA Pharma) for the treatment of Cushing’s syndrome, a rare hormonal disorder sometimes called hypercortisolism.

Cushing’s syndrome is characterized by an excess of the hormone cortisol in the blood, which may be caused by a tumor. Treatment options currently available in the European Union include surgery to remove the tumor responsible for the high cortisol levels and radiotherapy, as well as several medicines that reduce the production of cortisol.

But pharmacological options remain very limited, and there is an unmet medical need for additional treatments, especially when surgery fails or for patients who cannot undergo surgery or take other medications. For this reason, the EMA’s CHMP evaluated the medicine under expedited review.

The opinion adopted by the CHMP at its September 2014 meeting is an intermediary step on Ketoconazole HRA’s path to patient access.

The CHMP opinion will now be sent to the European Commission for the adoption of a decision on an EU-wide marketing authorization. Once a marketing authorization has been granted, decisions about price and reimbursement will then take place at the level of each member state considering the potential role/use of this medicine in the context of the national health system of that country.

The recommendation is that Ketoconazole HRA is to be prescribed only by physicians specialized in treating Cushing’s syndrome, as the dosing needs to be individualized for each patient.

This is because oral ketoconazole was previously suspended in the European Union for the indication it was first approved for, fungal infections, due to risk for liver injury. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also decreed, at the same time, that doctors should no longer prescribe ketoconazole tablets as a first-line therapy for any fungal infection, for the same reason.

Information will be sent to healthcare professionals to allow them to advise patients and prescribe the medicine safely and effectively.

A Medicine Used Off-Label for More than 30 Years

Doctors have used ketoconazole to treat Cushing’s syndrome for more than 30 years, although it has never been authorized for this indication in the European Union. The drug is also frequently used off-label in the United States and elsewhere for this purpose.

The CHMP’s recommendation builds on information from published literature and documented off-label use in clinical practice.

At the time of the suspension of ketoconazole for fungal infections, healthcare professionals and patients were concerned that ketoconazole would no longer be available for patients with Cushing’s syndrome.

The CHMP therefore reviewed Ketoconazole HRA through accelerated assessment to facilitate patients’ access to a fully authorized medicine as soon as possible with evidence-based information for patients and doctors.

When assessing Ketoconazole HRA for the treatment of Cushing’s syndrome, the CHMP considered that “in this rare and potentially life-threatening condition, the medicine’s benefits are greater than its risks, which can be manageable in clinical practice by specific measures mitigating the risk of liver toxicity, including close monitoring of the patients’ liver function.”

In 2012, it was estimated that the disease affected approximately 46,000 people in the European Union. Cushing’s syndrome is a long-lasting condition that can be life-threatening because of its complications, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression.

From http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/832399?src=rss

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