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Hypercortisolism Quickly Reversed With Oral Tx Oral osilodrostat (Isturisa) normalized cortisol levels in Cushing's disease patients who were ineligible for or not cured with pituitary surgery, according to the phase III LINC 3 trial. After 24 weeks of open-label treatment with twice-daily osilodrostat, 53% of patients (72 of 137; 95% CI 43.9-61.1) were able to maintain a complete response -- marked by mean 24-hour urinary free cortisol concentration of the upper limit of normal or below -- without any uptitration in dosage after the initial 12-week buildup phase, reported Rosario Pivonello, MD, of the Università Federico II di Napoli in Italy, and colleagues. As they explained in their study online in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, following the 24-week open-label period these complete responders to treatment were then randomized 1:1 to either remain on osilodrostat or be switched to placebo. During this 10-week randomization phase, 86% of patients maintained their complete cortisol response if they remained on osilodrostat versus only 29% of those who were switched to placebo (odds ratio 13.7, 95% CI 3.7-53.4, P<0.0001) -- meeting the trial's primary endpoint. As for adverse events, more than half of patients experienced hypocortisolism, and the most common adverse events included nausea (42%), headache (34%), fatigue (28%), and adrenal insufficiency (28%). "Alongside careful dose adjustments and monitoring of known risks associated with osilodrostat, our findings indicate a positive benefit-risk consideration of treatment for most patients with Cushing's disease," the researchers concluded. This oral inhibitor of 11β-hydroxylase -- the enzyme involved in the last step of cortisol synthesis -- was FDA approved in March 2020 based on these findings, and is currently available in 1 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg film-coated tablets. The prospective trial, consisting of four periods, included individuals between the ages of 18 and 75 with confirmed persistent or recurrent Cushing's disease -- marked by a mean 24-h urinary free cortisol concentration over 1.5 times the upper limit of normal (50 μg/24 hours), along with morning plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone above the lower limit of normal (9 pg/mL). All individuals had either undergone prior pituitary surgery or irradiation, were not deemed to be candidates for surgery, or had refused to have surgery. During the first open-label study period, all participants took 2 mg of oral osilodrostat twice daily, spaced 12 hours apart. This dose was then titrated up if the average of three 24-h urinary free cortisol concentration samples exceeded the upper limit of normal. During the second study period, which spanned weeks 12 through 24, all participants remained on their osilodrostat therapeutic dose. By week 24, about 62% of the participants were taking a therapeutic dose of 5 mg or less twice daily; only about 6% of patients needed a dose higher than 10 mg twice daily. In the third study period, which spanned weeks 26 through 34, "complete responders" who achieved normal cortisol levels were then randomized to continue treatment or be switched to placebo, while those who did not fully respond to treatment continued on osilodrostat. For the fourth study period, from weeks 24 through 48, all participants were switched back to active treatment with osilodrostat. Overall, 96% of participants were able to achieve a complete response at some point while on osilodrostat treatment, with two-thirds of these responders maintaining this normalized cortisol level for at least 6 months. The median time to first complete response was 41 days. Metabolic profiles also improved along with this reduction in cortisol levels. These included improvements in body weight, body mass index, fasting plasma glucose, both systolic and diastolic blood pressures, and total cholesterol levels. "Given the known clinical burden of cardiovascular risk associated with Cushing's disease, the improvement in clinical features shown here indicates important benefits of osilodrostat," the researchers said. "By improving multiple cardiovascular risk factors, our findings are likely to be clinically relevant." Along with metabolic improvements, patients also had "clinically meaningful improvements" in quality of life, as well as reductions in depressive symptoms measured by the Beck Depression Inventory score, the investigators reported. One limitation to the trial, they noted, was an inability to control for concomitant medications, since nearly all participants were taking other medications, particularly antihypertensive and antidiabetic therapies. "Further examination of the effects of osilodrostat on the clinical signs of Cushing's disease, and the reasons for changes in concomitant medications and the association between such medications and clinical outcomes would be valuable," Pivonello's group said. From https://www.medpagetoday.com/endocrinology/generalendocrinology/87827
Cushing syndrome, a rare endocrine disorder caused by abnormally excessive amounts of the hormone cortisol, has a new pharmaceutical treatment to treat cortisol overproduction. Osilodrostat (Isturisa) is the first FDA approved drug who either can’t undergo pituitary gland surgery or have undergone the surgery but still have the disease. The oral tablet functions by blocking the enzyme responsible for cortisol synthesis, 11-beta-hydroxylase. “Until now, patients in need of medications…have had few approved options, either with limited efficacy or with too many adverse effects. With this demonstrated effective oral treatment, we have a therapeutic option that will help address patients' needs in this underserved patient population," said Maria Fleseriu, MD, FACE, professor of medicine and neurological surgery and director of the Pituitary Center at Oregon Health Sciences University. Cushing disease is caused by a pituitary tumor that releases too much of the hormone that stimulates cortisol production, adrenocorticotropin. This causes excessive levels of cortisol, a hormone responsible for helping to maintain blood sugar levels, regulate metabolism, help reduce inflammation, assist in memory formulation, and support fetus development during pregnancy. The condition is most common among adults aged 30-50 and affects women 3 times more than men. Cushing disease can lead to a number of medical issues including high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, blood clots in the arms and legs, bone loss and fractures, a weakened immune system, and depression. Patients with Cushing disease may also have thin arms and legs, a round red full face, increased fat around the neck, easy bruising, striae (purple stretch marks), or weak muscles. Side effects of osilodrostat occurring in more than 20% of patients are adrenal insufficiency, headache, nausea, fatigue, and edema. Other side effects can include vomiting, hypocortisolism (low cortisol levels), QTc prolongation (heart rhythm condition), elevations in adrenal hormone precursors (inactive substance converted into hormone), and androgens (hormone that regulated male characteristics). Osilodrostat’s safety and effectiveness was evaluated in a study consisting of 137 patients, of which about 75% were women. After a 24-week period, about half of patients had achieved normal cortisol levels; 71 successful cases then entered an 8-week, double-blind, randomized withdrawal study where 86% of patients receiving osilodrostat maintained normal cortisol levels, compared with 30% who were taking a placebo. In January 2020, the European Commission also granted marketing authorization for osilodrostat. From https://www.ajmc.com/newsroom/patients-with-cushing-have-new-nonsurgical-treatment-option