Functioning pituitary adenomas - Current treatment options and emerging medical therapies

Elena V. Varlamov, Shirley McCartney, Maria Fleseriu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Pituitary adenomas are benign tumours comprising approximately 16% of all primary cranial neoplasms. Functioning pituitary adenomas (prolactinomas, somatotroph, corticotroph, thyrotroph and rarely gonadotroph adenomas) cause complex clinical syndromes and require prompt treatment to reduce associated morbidity and mortality. Treatment approaches include transsphenoidal surgery, medical therapy and radiation. Medical therapy is the primary therapy for prolactinomas, and surgery by a skilled neurosurgeon is the first-line approach for other functioning pituitary adenomas. A multimodal treatment is frequently necessary to achieve biochemical and clinical control, especially, when surgery is not curative or when medical therapy fails. Several emerging, novel, medical treatments for acromegaly, Cushing's disease and prolactinomas are in phase II and III clinical trials and may become effective additions to the current drug armamentarium. The availability of various management options will allow an individualised treatment approach based on the unique tumour type, clinical situation and patient preference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-40
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems


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