Medical Therapy of Pituitary Tumors

  • Mark E. Molitch


Medical therapy of pituitary tumors is directed at decreasing the overall effects of the hormonal oversecretion of these tumors. With the possible exception of prolactinomas and growth-hormone-secreting adenomas, which may show morphological regression after treatment with dopamine agonists, there is no evidence that any form of medical therapy reduces the size of tumors. Therefore, medical therapy should be thought of as adjunctive, rather than definitive, therapy. Accordingly, there is no place for the medical therapy of “functionless” tumors except for the obvious hormonal replacements (hydrocortisone, thyroxine, gonadal steroids, vasopressin) that may be needed if the tumor, by its mass effects, causes hypopituitarism. Detailed testing of both functionless and functioning tumors should always be performed (see Chapter 11), especially after ablative therapy, so that proper hormone replacement can be given (see Chapter 20). This chapter will deal with the specific medical therapies that have been used to treat the hormonal syndromes that result from tumors secreting growth hormone (GH), adrenocroticotropic hormone (ACTH), and prolactin (PRL), i.e., acromegaly, Cushing’s disease, and the galactorrhea-amenorrhea-impotence syndromes.


Growth Hormone Pituitary Adenoma Pituitary Tumor Growth Hormone Secretion Growth Hormone Level 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark E. Molitch
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Tufts University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medicine, Division of EndocrinologyTufts-New England Medical Center HospitalBostonUSA

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