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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Dec;98(12):4759-67. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-2281. Epub 2013 Sep 20.

Comparison of two mitotane starting dose regimens in patients with advanced adrenocortical carcinoma.

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MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Máxima Medical Center, Ds. Th. Fliednerstraat 1, 5631 BM Eindhoven, The Netherlands.



Mitotane is the only approved drug for treatment of adrenocortical carcinoma. Its pharmacokinetic properties are not fully elucidated and different dosing regimens have never been compared head to head.


The objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between mitotane dose and plasma concentration comparing two dosing regimens.


This was a prospective, open-label, multicenter trial of a predefined duration of 12 weeks.


Forty mitotane-naïve patients with metastatic adrenocortical carcinoma were assigned to a predefined low- or high-dose regimen by the local investigator. Thirty-two patients could be evaluated in detail.


The difference in median mitotane plasma levels between both treatment groups was measured.


Despite a difference in mean cumulative dose (440 ± 142 g vs 272 ± 121 g), median maximum plasma levels were not significantly different between the two groups [high dose 14.3 mg/L (range 6.3-29.7, n = 20) vs 11.3 mg/L (range 5.5-20.0, n = 12), P = .235]. Ten of 20 patients on the high-dose regimen reached plasma concentrations of 14 mg/L or greater after 46 days (range 18-81 d) compared with 4 of 12 patients on the low-dose regimen after 55 days (range 46-74 d, P = .286). All patients who reached 14 mg/L at 12 weeks displayed a level of 4.1 mg/L or greater on day 33 (100% sensitivity). There were no significant differences in frequency and severity of adverse events. Among patients not receiving concomitant chemotherapy mitotane exposure was higher in the high-dose group: 1013 ± 494 mg/L · d vs 555 ± 168 mg/L · d (P = .080).


The high-dose starting regimen resulted in neither significantly different mitotane levels nor a different rate of adverse events, but concomitant chemotherapy influenced these results. Thus, for mitotane monotherapy the high-dose approach is favorable, whereas for combination therapy a lower dose seems reasonable.

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