, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 418–424 | Cite as

Temozolomide (Temodar®) and capecitabine (Xeloda®) treatment of an aggressive corticotroph pituitary tumor

  • Marie S. Thearle
  • Pamela U. Freda
  • Jeffrey N. Bruce
  • Steven R. Isaacson
  • Yoomi Lee
  • Robert L. Fine


Only rarely do corticotroph pituitary tumors become invasive leading to symptoms caused by compression of cranial nerves and other local structures. When aggressive pituitary neuroendocrine tumors do develop, conventional treatment options are of limited success. A 50-year-old man developed a giant invasive corticotroph pituitary tumor 2 years after initial presentation. His tumor and symptoms failed to respond to maximal surgical, radio-surgical, radiation and medical therapy and a bilateral adrenalectomy was done. He subsequently developed rapid growth of his tumor leading to multiple cranial nerve deficits. He was administered salvage chemotherapy with capecitabine and temozolomide (CAPTEM), a novel oral chemotherapy regimen developed at our institution for treatment of neuroendocrine tumors. After two cycles of CAPTEM, his tumor markedly decreased in size and ACTH levels fell by almost 90%. Despite further decreases in ACTH levels, his tumor recurred after 5 months with increased avidity on PET scan suggesting a transformation to a more aggressive phenotype. Temozolomide had been reported to be effective against other pituitary tumors and this case adds to this literature demonstrating its use along with capecitabine (CAPTEM) against a corticotroph tumor. Further evaluation of the CAPTEM regimen in patients with pituitary neuroendocrine tumors which fail to respond to classic treatments is warranted.



Presented at Marie S. Thearle, Pamela U. Freda, Jeffrey N. Bruce, Steven R. Isaacson, Yoomi Lee and Robert L. Fine.. The use of Temozolomide (Temodar®) and Capecitabine (Xeloda®) for treatment of an aggressive corticotroph pituitary tumor. 89th Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society, OR. Toronto, Canada, June, 2007. Supported in part by DK073040 (to PUF).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie S. Thearle
    • 1
  • Pamela U. Freda
    • 1
    • 5
  • Jeffrey N. Bruce
    • 2
  • Steven R. Isaacson
    • 3
  • Yoomi Lee
    • 4
  • Robert L. Fine
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Medical OncologyColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Neurosurgery, Division of Medical OncologyColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Medical OncologyColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Experimental Therapeutics Program, Division of Medical OncologyColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of Medicine, Division of EndocrinologyColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA

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