ENDO 18: New model, new drugs, and a 'remarkable' response in adrenal cancer

IMAGE: Kiseljak-Vassiliades and colleagues present two studies at ENDO18 describing promising targets and treatments in adrenal cancer. view more 

Credit: University of Colorado Cancer Center

Two University of Colorado Cancer Center studies presented at ENDO 2018 use new models to identify genetic targets and test promising treatments in adrenal cancer. One patient was treated with the immunotherapy pembrolizumab and now more than a year after starting treatment remains on the drug with 77 percent tumor reduction and no new metastases.

The story starts in 2013 when, despite the fact that adrenal cancer is rare, four patients with adrenocortical carcinoma presented to University of Colorado Hospital. Faced with dismal prognosis and no available targeted treatments, doctors led by Maggie Wierman, MD, and Stephen Leong, MD, established an adrenal tumor multidisciplinary team including endocrinologists, oncologists, endocrine surgeons, pathologists and radiation oncologists. The team’s goal was twofold: to offer the best possible treatment while identifying new therapeutic options for these patients.

“One of the biggest barriers in the field of adrenocortical carcinoma research has been lack of a preclinical model. Groups around the country have tried to create cell and animal models of ACC but haven’t been successful,” says Katja Kiseljak-Vassiliades, DO,


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