New medical therapies on the horizon: oral octreotide.

Research paper by Nienke R NR Biermasz

Indexed on: 17 Jan '17Published on: 17 Jan '17Published in: Pituitary


Somatostatin analog treatment is first line medical treatment in patients with acromegaly. This drug is currently mainly administered by monthly depot preparations of octreotide and lanreotide. With the innovative transient permeability enhancer, a technology enabling the absorption of drug molecules via transient opening of the tight junctions of the gut epithelium, it is possible to achieve therapeutic octreotide levels after oral ingestion. The present review summarized the preclinical work and the recently reported phase I and III study on oral octreotide capsules in patients with acromegaly. Maintenance of control in 155 participating patients was achieved in 65% at the end of core period. Once controlled on oral octreotide, the response was maintained to the end of the extension phase in 85%. Side effects were comparable to currently available preparations. There was a profound suppression of growth hormone levels, and significant symptom reduction. Currently available parental somatostatin analogs are generally well tolerated and are able to achieve longstanding biochemical control in patients with somatostatin sensitive tumors. Potential advantages of an oral alternative is the lack injection-related side effects, but there will be an ongoing need for a very strict compliance with the 2 daily dose regimen and fasting around drug administrations. A second phase III study is currently being conducted. The potential place in the treatment of acromegaly is discussed.