Lactotroph adenoma treatment

Lactotroph adenoma treatment

Dopamine agonists such as bromocriptine and cabergoline have been found to be an effective treatment for hyperprolactinemia, not only inducing adenoma shrinkage but also lowering serum prolactin levels. Among known dopamine agonists, cabergoline is the drug of choice due to its enhanced tolerability compared with bromocriptine 1).


Surgical intervention may resurface as an alternative first-line treatment. When used in combination with cabergoline, surgery offers a higher disease remission rate than either drug or operation alone 2)


Lactotroph Adenoma Surgery is safe and efficient. It is particularly suitable for enclosed prolactinomas. The patient should be well informed of the pros and cons of the treatment options, which include dopamine agonist (DA) and transsphenoidal microsurgery, and the patient’s preference should be taken into account during decision-making 3).

In the absence of visual deficits, pituitary apoplexy in lactotroph adenomas is the only type of pituitary tumor for which medical therapy (Dopamine agonists) may be the primary treatment.


Issues and questions to be addressed in this approach to long-term management of prolactinomas include the frequency of radiographic monitoring, effect of pregnancy and menopause, safety of estrogen in women taking oral contraceptives, and the potential for discontinuation of dopamine agonist therapy 4).

see Dopamine agonist for Lactotroph adenoma.

see Lactotroph Adenoma Surgery

Although transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) is an option for prolactinoma treatment, it is less effective than medical management, carries considerably more risk, and is more expensive. The benefit/risk ratio for DA therapy compared to TSS actually becomes increasingly more favorable as tumor size increases. Therefore DA should remain the clear treatment of choice for essentially all patients with prolactinomas, reserving TSS as a second-line option for the very small number of patients that do not tolerate or are completely resistant to DA therapy 5).

Lactotroph adenoma radiosurgery.

The underlying decision to perform serial imaging in prolactinoma patients should be individualized on a case-by-case basis. Future studies should focus on alternative imaging methods and/or contrast agents 6).


1)

Krysiak R, Okopien B. Different Effects of Cabergoline and Bromocriptine on Metabolic and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Patients with Elevated Prolactin Levels. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2014 Aug 13. doi: 10.1111/bcpt.12307. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25123447.
2)

Chen TY, Lee CH, Yang MY, Shen CC, Yang YP, Chien Y, Huang YF, Lai CM, Cheng WY. Treatment of Hyperprolactinemia: A Single-Institute Experience. J Chin Med Assoc. 2021 Jul 13. doi: 10.1097/JCMA.0000000000000584. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34261980.
3)

Giese S, Nasi-Kordhishti I, Honegger J. Outcomes of Transsphenoidal Microsurgery for Prolactinomas – A Contemporary Series of 162 Cases. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2021 Jan 18. doi: 10.1055/a-1247-4908. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33461233.
4)

Schlechte JA. Long-term management of prolactinomas. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Aug;92(8):2861-5. Review. PubMed PMID: 17682084.
5)

Bloomgarden E, Molitch ME. Surgical treatment of prolactinomas: cons. Endocrine. 2014 Aug 12. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25112227.
6)

Varlamov EV, Hinojosa-Amaya JM, Fleseriu M. Magnetic resonance imaging in the management of prolactinomas; a review of the evidence. Pituitary. 2019 Oct 28. doi: 10.1007/s11102-019-01001-6. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 31659622.

Lactotroph Adenoma Surgery

Lactotroph Adenoma Surgery

Lactotroph Adenoma Surgery is safe and efficient. It is particularly suitable for enclosed prolactinomas. The patient should be well informed of the pros and cons of the treatment options, which include dopamine agonist (DA) and transsphenoidal microsurgery, and the patient’s preference should be taken into account during decision-making 1).

In the majority of prolactinoma patients, disease remission can be achieved through surgery, with low risks of long-term surgical complications, and disease remission is less often achieved with dopamine agonist2).

Prolactin level < 500 ng/ml in prolactinomas that are not extensively invasive: PRL may be normalized with surgery.


PRL > 500 ng/ml: the chances of normalizing PRL surgically are very low 3).

If no acute progression, an initial attempt of medical therapy should be made as the chances of normalizing PRL surgically with preop levels > 500 ng/ml are very low 4) (these tumors may shrink dramatically with bromocriptine).

If tumor not controlled medically (≈ 18 % will not respond to bromocriptine: surgery followed by restitution of medical therapy may normalize PRL).


Barrow et al. reviewed the results of transsphenoidal microsurgical management in 69 patients with prolactin-secreting pituitary adenomas who had preoperative serum prolactin levels over 200 ng/ml. The patients were divided into three groups based on their preoperative serum prolactin levels: over 200 to 500 ng/ml (Group A); over 500 to 1000 ng/ml (Group B); and over 1000 ng/ml (Group C). The percentage of successful treatment (“control rate”) was 68%, 30%, and 14%, respectively, in these three groups of patients. Based on these results, the authors offer guidelines for the management of patients with prolactin-secreting pituitary adenomas associated with exceptionally high serum prolactin levels. The surgical control rate of 68% in Group A seems to justify surgery for these patients, while primary medical care with bromocriptine is recommended for most patients with serum prolactin levels over 500 ng/ml 5).


Dopamine agonist therapy is the first line of treatment for prolactinomas because of its effectiveness in normalizing serum prolactin levels and shrinking tumor size. Though withdrawal of dopamine agonist treatment is safe and may be implemented following certain recommendations, recurrence of disease after cessation of the drug occurs in a substantial proportion of patients. Concerns regarding the safety of dopamine agonists have been raised, but its safety profile remains high, allowing its use during pregnancy. Surgery is typically indicated for patients who are resistant to medical therapy or intolerant of its adverse side effects, or are experiencing progressive tumor growth. Surgical resection can also be considered as a primary treatment for those with smaller focal tumors where a biochemical cure can be expected as an alternative to lifelong dopamine agonist treatment. Stereotactic radiosurgery also serves as an option for those refractory to medical and surgical therapy 6).


Many guidelines and reports that caution against surgical treatment are based on data over a decade or more old using different techniques such as microsurgical transsphenoidal surgery or from the nascent era of endoscopic transphenoidal surgery 7).

Endoscopic techniques have continued to evolve and provide for excellent visualization, low CSF leak rates, and high rates of gross total resection. In a study of DA-resistant prolactinomas, Vroonen et al. showed that surgical debulking led to a significant de- crease in prolactin levels at a significantly lower DA dose 8).

Kreutzer et al. report a remission rate of 91 % in patients who had elective surgery of microprolactinomas, and Babey et al. also had a high long-term remission rate, without morbidity or mortality for patients with microprolactinomas 9) 10).

Cost considerations are also a concern, especially in countries such as the USA, which is undergoing rapid changes in its healthcare system. A study by Jethwa and Patel et al. found surgical resection of microprolactinomas to be more cost effective long term than medical therapy 11).


Tumor size and invasion of extrasellar and/or cavernous sinuses have typically been seen as limitations of surgery, and some patients with refractory very large or giant tumors may necessitate multistage surgical procedures with a combi- nation of endonasal and transcranial approaches.

see Lactotroph adenoma radiosurgery.


Expanded endoscopic endonasal techniques have been developed that allow for safe treatment of larger adenomas that have extra-/parasellar extension as long as the extension is in the cranio-caudal direction and not lateral to the carotids. However, the issue of partial resection and the risk of apoplexy in the residual irritated tumor is of some concern. As in many other areas of neuro-oncology, a combination approach may be optimal. Surgical resection may allow for definitive removal of the tumor and relief of the mass effect and provide tissue for precisely targeted therapies to prevent recurrence. Sophisticated immunohistochemistry and genetic testing are rapidly being applied to many other tumors and may in the future allow for superior targeted adjuvant therapies in prolactinomas and help reduce recurrences. Finally, surgery might be an answer to the long-term cost of medical therapy specifically in younger patients. However, this issue should be carefully assessed on an individual basis to not jeopardize the standard of care in prolactinoma management by unnecessary surgical treatment. Medical treatment remains the first and the treatment of choice in the general population with recently diagnosed prolactinoma in the absence of rapidly progressive neurological symptoms 12).

Few studies address the cost of treating prolactinomas.

The Department of Neurological Surgery, University of California at San Francisco, performed a cost-utility analysis of surgical versus medical treatment for prolactinomas. Materials and Methods We determined total hospital costs for surgically and medically treated prolactinoma patients. Decision-tree analysis was performed to determine which treatment produced the highest quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Outcome data were derived from published studies. Results Average total costs for surgical patients were $19,224 ( ± 18,920). Average cost for the first year of bromocriptine or cabergoline treatment was $3,935 and $6,042, with $2,622 and $4,729 for each additional treatment year. For a patient diagnosed with prolactinoma at 40 years of age, surgery has the lowest lifetime cost ($40,473), followed by bromocriptine ($41,601) and cabergoline ($70,696). Surgery also appears to generate high health state utility and thus more QALYs. In sensitivity analyses, surgery appears to be a cost-effective treatment option for prolactinomas across a range of ages, medical/surgical costs, and medical/surgical response rates, except when surgical cure rates are ≤ 30%. Conclusion Our single institution analysis suggests that surgery may be a more cost-effective treatment for prolactinomas than medical management for a range of patient ages, costs, and response rates. Direct empirical comparison of QALYs for different treatment strategies is needed to confirm these findings 13).


1)

Giese S, Nasi-Kordhishti I, Honegger J. Outcomes of Transsphenoidal Microsurgery for Prolactinomas – A Contemporary Series of 162 Cases. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2021 Jan 18. doi: 10.1055/a-1247-4908. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33461233.
2)

Zamanipoor Najafabadi AH, Zandbergen IM, de Vries F, et al. Surgery as a Viable Alternative First-Line Treatment for Prolactinoma Patients. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020;105(3):e32‐e41. doi:10.1210/clinem/dgz144
3) , 4) , 5)

Barrow DL, Mizuno J, Tindall GT. Management of prolactinomas associated with very high serum prolactin levels. J Neurosurg. 1988 Apr;68(4):554-8. PubMed PMID: 3351583.
6)

Wong A, Eloy JA, Couldwell WT, Liu JK. Update on prolactinomas. Part 2: Treatment and management strategies. J Clin Neurosci. 2015 Oct;22(10):1568-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2015.03.059. Epub 2015 Aug 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 26243714.
7)

Casanueva FF, Molitch ME, Schlechte JA, Abs R, Bonert V, Bronstein MD, Brue T, Cappabianca P, Colao A, Fahlbusch R, Fideleff H, Hadani M, Kelly P, Kleinberg D, Laws E, Marek J, Scanlon M, Sobrinho LG, Wass JA, Giustina A (2006) Guidelines of the pituitary society for the diagnosis and management of prolactinomas. Clin Endocrinol 65:265–273
8)

Vroonen L, Jaffrain-Rea ML, Petrossians P, Tamagno G, Chanson P, Vilar L, Borson-Chazot F, Naves LA, Brue T, Gatta B, Delemer B, Ciccarelli E, Beck-Peccoz P, Caron P, Daly AF, Beckers A (2012) Prolactinomas resistant to standard doses of cabergoline: a multicen- ter study of 92 patients. Eur J Endocrinol 167:651–662
9)

Babey M, Sahli R, Vajtai I, Andres RH, Seiler RW (2011) Pituitary surgery for small prolactinomas as an alternative to treatment with dopamine agonists. Pituitary 14:222–230
10)

Kreutzer J, Buslei R, Wallaschofski H, Hofmann B, Nimsky C, Fahlbusch R, Buchfelder M (2008) Operative treatment of prolactinomas: indications and results in a current consecutive series of 212 patients. Eur J Endocrinol 158:11–18
11)

Jethwa PR, Patel TD, Hajart AF, Eloy JA, Couldwell WT, Liu JK (2015) Cost-effectiveness analysis of microscopic and endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery versus medical therapy in the management of microprolactinoma in the United States. World Neurosurg 5:2015
12)

Chakraborty S, Dehdashti AR. Does the medical treatment for prolactinoma remain the standard of care? Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2016 May;158(5):943-4. doi: 10.1007/s00701-016-2763-y. Epub 2016 Mar 11. PubMed PMID: 26965287.
13)

Zygourakis CC, Imber BS, Chen R, Han SJ, Blevins L, Molinaro A, Kahn JG, Aghi MK. Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Surgical versus Medical Treatment of Prolactinomas. J Neurol Surg B Skull Base. 2017 Apr;78(2):125-131. doi: 10.1055/s-0036-1592193. Epub 2016 Sep 27. PubMed PMID: 28321375; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5357228.

Lactotroph adenoma radiosurgery

Lactotroph adenoma radiosurgery

Lactotroph adenoma radiosurgery also serves as an option for those refractory to medical and surgical therapy 1).

GKRS plays a significant role in the treatment of non-functioning [NFA] and hormonal-active [HAA] pituitary adenoma. It affords high rate of tumor control and offers low risk of collateral neurological or endocrine axis injury. A study showed that control of tumor growth was achieved in 90% patients, shrinkage of tumor in 54% and arrest of progression in 36% cases after GKRS treatment. The biochemical remission rate in GH secreting adenoma was 57%, ACTH adenoma was 67% and prolactinoma was 40%. Age less than 50 years and tumor volume less than 5cm3 were associated with a favourable radiosurgical outcome 2).

Case series

retrospective study included lactotroph adenoma treated with SRS between 1997 and 2016 at ten institutions. Patients’ clinical and treatment parameters were investigated. Patients were considered to be in endocrine remission when they had a normal level of prolactin (PRL) without requiring dopamine agonist medications. Endocrine control was defined as endocrine remission or a controlled PRL level ≤ 30 ng/ml with dopamine agonist therapy. Other outcomes were evaluated including new-onset hormone deficiency, tumor recurrence, and new neurological complications.

The study cohort comprised 289 patients. The endocrine remission rates were 28%, 41%, and 54% at 3, 5, and 8 years after SRS, respectively. Following SRS, 25% of patients (72/289) had new hormone deficiency. Sixty-three percent of the patients (127/201) with available data attained endocrine control. Three percent of patients (9/269) had a new visual complication after SRS. Five percent of the patients (13/285) were recorded as having tumor progression. A pretreatment PRL level ≤ 270 ng/ml was a predictor of endocrine remission (p = 0.005, adjusted HR 0.487). An increasing margin dose resulted in better endocrine control after SRS (p = 0.033, adjusted OR 1.087).

In patients with medically refractory prolactinomas or a residual/recurrent prolactinoma, SRS affords remarkable therapeutic effects in endocrine remission, endocrine control, and tumor control. New-onset hypopituitarism is the most common adverse event 3).

2015

Radiotherapy as an alternative and adjuvant treatment for prolactinomas has been performed at the Department of Radiation Oncology, Prince of Wales Cancer Centre, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, with the linear accelerator since 1990.

In a retrospective review of 13 patients managed with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and 5 managed with fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSRT), as well as 5 managed with conventional radiotherapy, at the Prince of Wales Hospital. Patients with a histopathologically diagnosed prolactinoma were eligible. Those patients who had a confirmed pathological diagnosis of prolactinoma following surgical intervention, a prolactin level elevated above 500 μg/L, or a prolactin level persistently elevated above 200 μg/L with exclusion of other causes were represented in this review.

At the end of documented follow-up (SRS median 6 years, FSRT median 2 years), no SRS patients showed an increase in tumour volume. After FSRT, 1 patient showed an increase in size, 2 showed a decrease in size and 2 patients showed no change. Prolactin levels trended towards improvement after SRS and FSRT, but no patients achieved the remission level of <20 μg/L. Seven of 13 patients in the SRS group achieved a level of <500 μg/L, whereas no patients reached this target after FSRT.

A reduction in prolactin level is frequent after SRS and FSRT for prolactinomas; however, true biochemical remission is uncommon. Tumour volume control in this series was excellent, but this may be related to the natural history of the disease. Morbidity and mortality after stereotactic radiation were very low in this series 4).


Cohen-Inbar et al., reviewed the outcome of patients with medically and surgically refractory prolactinomas treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) during a 22 years follow-up period.

They reviewed the patient database at the University of Virginia Gamma Knife center during a 25-year period (1989-2014), identifying 38 patients having neurosurgical, radiological and endocrine follow-up.

Median age at GKRS treatment was 43 years. Median follow-up was 42.3 months (range 6-207.9). 55.3 % (n = 21) were taking a dopamine agonist at time of GKRS. 63.2 % (n = 24) had cavernous sinus tumor invasion. Endocrine remission (normal serum prolactin off of a dopamine agonist) was achieved in 50 % (n = 19). GKRS induced hypopituitarism occurred in 30.3 % (n = 10). Cavernous sinus involvement was shown to be a significant negative prognosticator of endocrine remission. Taking a dopamine agonist drug at the time of GKRS showed a tendency to decrease the probability for endocrine remission.

GKRS for refractory prolactinomas can lead to endocrine remission in many patients. Hypopituitarism is the most common side effect of GKRS 5).

2013

evaluated the efficacy of Gamma knife stereotactic radiosurgery (GKSR) as an adjunctive management modality for patients with drug resistant or intolerant cavernous sinus invasive prolactinomas. Twenty-two patients with cavernous sinus invasive prolactinoma underwent GKSR between 1994 and 2009. Thirteen patients were dopamine agonist (DA) resistant. Six patients were intolerant to DA. Three patients chose GKSR as their initial treatment modality in hopes they might avoid life long suppression medication. The median tumor volume was 3.0 cm3 (range 0.3–11.6). The marginal tumor dose (median= 15 Gy, range 12–25 Gy) prescribed was based on the dose delivered to the optic apparatus. The median follow-up interval was 36 months (range, 12–185). Endocrine normalization was defined as a normal serum prolactin level off DA (cure) or on DA. Endocrine improvement was defined asa decreased but still elevated serum prolactin level. Endocrine deterioration was defined as an increased serum prolactin level. Endocrine normalization was achieved in six(27.3%) patients. Twelve (54.5%) patients had endocrine improvement. Four patients (18.2%) developed delayed increased prolactin. Imaging-defined local tumor control was achieved in 19 (86.4%) patients, 12 of whom had tumor regression. Three patients had a delayed tumor progression and required additional management. One patient developed a new pituitary axis deficiency after GKSR. Invasive prolactinomas continue to pose management challenges. GKSR is a non invasive adjunctive option that may reduce prolactin levels in patients who are resistant to or intolerant of suppression medication. In a minority of cases, patients may no longer require long term suppression therapy 6).

2006

Twenty-three patients were included in analysis of endocrine outcomes (median and average follow-up of 55 and 58 mo, respectively) and 28 patients were included in analysis of imaging outcomes (median and average follow-up of 48 and 52 mo, respectively). Twenty-six percent of patients achieved a normal serum prolactin (remission) with an average time of 24.5 months. Remission was significantly associated with being off of a dopamine agonist at the time of GKRS and a tumor volume less than 3.0 cm3 (P < 0.05 for both). Long-term image-based volumetric control was achieved in 89% of patients. Complications included new pituitary hormone deficiencies in 28% of patients and cranial nerve palsy in two patients (7%).

Clinical remission in 26% of treated patients is a modest result. However, because the GKRS treated tumors were refractory to other therapies and because complication rates were low, GKRS should be part of the armamentarium for treating refractory prolactinomas. Patients with tumors smaller than 3.0 cm3 and who are not receiving dopamine agonist at the time of treatment will likely benefit most 7).

2000

Twenty patients with prolactinomas were followed after GKS. Five patients were treated successfully; their prolactin (PRL) levels dropped into the normal range and dopaminergic drugs could be discontinued. Two spontaneous pregnancies were observed and 11 patients experienced improvement. Improvement was defined as normal PRL levels with the continued possibility of reduced medical treatment or a substantially reduced medical treatment dose with some degree of hyperprolactinemia maintained. The treatment failed in three patients who experienced no improvement. Patients treated with dopaminergic drugs during GKS did significantly less well in comparison with the untreated group when a cumulative distribution function (Kaplan-Meier estimate) was used. CONCLUSIONS:

The results of GKS for prolactinomas in this investigation are better than the results published by others. This may be an effect of case selection because there were no “salvage cases” in our group of patients. Because a dopamine agonist seemed to induce radioprotection in this series, it is suggested that GKS be performed during an intermission in drug therapy when the dopamine agonist is discontinued 8).

References

1)

Wong A, Eloy JA, Couldwell WT, Liu JK. Update on prolactinomas. Part 2: Treatment and management strategies. J Clin Neurosci. 2015 Oct;22(10):1568-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2015.03.059. Epub 2015 Aug 1. Review. PubMed PMID: 26243714.
2)

Narayan V, Mohammed N, Bir SC, Savardekar AR, Patra DP, Bollam P, Nanda A. Long term Outcome of Non-functioning and Hormonal-active Pituitary Adenoma after Gamma Knife Radio Surgery. World Neurosurg. 2018 Mar 21. pii: S1878-8750(18)30576-X. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.03.094. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29574220.
3)

Hung YC, Lee CC, Yang HC, Mohammed N, Kearns KN, Nabeel AM, Abdel Karim K, Emad Eldin RM, El-Shehaby AMN, Reda WA, Tawadros SR, Liscak R, Jezkova J, Lunsford LD, Kano H, Sisterson ND, Martínez Álvarez R, Martínez Moreno NE, Kondziolka D, Golfinos JG, Grills I, Thompson A, Borghei-Razavi H, Maiti TK, Barnett GH, McInerney J, Zacharia BE, Xu Z, Sheehan JP. The benefit and risk of stereotactic radiosurgery for prolactinomas: an international multicenter cohort study. J Neurosurg. 2019 Aug 2:1-10. doi: 10.3171/2019.4.JNS183443. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 31374549.
4)

Wilson PJ, Williams JR, Smee RI. Single-centre experience of stereotactic radiosurgery and fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy for prolactinomas with the linear accelerator. J Med Imaging Radiat Oncol. 2015 Jun;59(3):371-8. doi: 10.1111/1754-9485.12257. Epub 2014 Nov 20. PubMed PMID: 25410143.
5)

Cohen-Inbar O, Xu Z, Schlesinger D, Vance ML, Sheehan JP. Gamma Knife radiosurgery for medically and surgically refractory prolactinomas: long-term results. Pituitary. 2015 Dec;18(6):820-30. doi: 10.1007/s11102-015-0658-1. PubMed PMID: 25962347.
6)

Liu X, Kano H, Kondziolka D, Park KJ, Iyer A, Shin S, Niranjan A, Flickinger JC, Lunsford LD. Gamma knife stereotactic radiosurgery for drug resistant or intolerant invasive prolactinomas. Pituitary. 2013 Mar;16(1):68-75. PubMed PMID: 22302560.
7)

Pouratian N, Sheehan J, Jagannathan J, Laws ER Jr, Steiner L, Vance ML. Gamma knife radiosurgery for medically and surgically refractory prolactinomas. Neurosurgery. 2006 Aug;59(2):255-66; discussion 255-66. PubMed PMID: 16883166.
8)

Landolt AM, Lomax N. Gamma knife radiosurgery for prolactinomas. J Neurosurg. 2000 Dec;93 Suppl 3:14-8. PubMed PMID: 11143231.
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