Dopamine agonist resistant prolactinomas - any alternative medical treatment?

Niki Karavitaki, P Souteiro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
253 Downloads (Pure)


Consensus guidelines recommend dopamine agonists (DAs) as the mainstay treatment for prolactinomas. In most patients, DAs achieve tumor shrinkage and normoprolactinemia at well tolerated doses. However, primary or, less often, secondary resistance to DAs may be also encountered representing challenging clinical scenarios. This is particularly true for aggressive prolactinomas in which surgery and radiotherapy may not achieve tumor control. In these cases, alternative medical treatments have been considered but data on their efficacy should be interpreted within the constraints of publication bias and of lack of relevant clinical trials. The limited reports on somatostatin analogues have shown conflicting results, but cases with optimal outcomes have been documented. Data on estrogen modulators and metformin are scarce and their usefulness remains to be evaluated. In many aggressive lactotroph tumors, temozolomide has demonstrated optimal outcomes, whereas for other cytotoxic agents, tyrosine kinase inhibitors and for inhibitors of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), higher quality evidence is needed. Finally, promising preliminary results from in vitro and animal reports need to be further assessed and, if appropriate, translated in human studies.
Original languageEnglish
Early online date14 Sept 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sept 2019


  • Aggressive prolactinoma
  • Dopamine agonist
  • Prolactinoma
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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