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Anne Jouinot, Bernard Royer, Etienne Chatelut, Sotheara Moeung, Guillaume Assié, Audrey Thomas-Schoemann, Jérôme Bertherat, François Goldwasser and Benoit Blanchet


The combination of mitotane and platinum-etoposide chemotherapy is a front-line treatment in metastatic adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC), although this regimen shows limited efficacy. Pharmacokinetic drug–drug interaction between mitotane, a strong CYP3A4 inducer, and etoposide, which is a substrate of CYP3A4, may contribute to chemoresistance. The aim of this pilot study was to assess the pharmacokinetic interaction between mitotane and etoposide in ACC patients.


Five consecutive ACC patients treated with platinum etoposide (120–150 mg/m2 day 1–2–3 at cycle 1), with or without concomitant mitotane, were included. In the absence of limiting toxicity, a dose escalation of etoposide was proposed since cycle 2. Plasma etoposide concentrations were measured using liquid chromatography at 0, 4 and 24 h after each infusion. Clearance and area under the curve (AUC) of etoposide were determined at each cycle.


Patients received two to six chemotherapy cycles, in association with mitotane (N = 4) or after mitotane discontinuation (N = 1). Etoposide clearance was two-fold higher with concomitant mitotane (4.95 L/h) than after mitotane discontinuation (2.53 L/h, P = 0.014), and 2.5-fold higher than that in reference population not treated with mitotane (1.81 L/h). Etoposide dose escalation was performed in four patients under mitotane, resulting in two minor tumor responses and one severe toxicity (febrile aplasia) at dose of 300 mg/m2/day. Tumor response was associated with higher etoposide AUC (267.3 vs 188.8 mg.h/L, P = 0.04).


A drug–drug interaction between mitotane and etoposide may contribute to the low efficacy of platinum-etoposide chemotherapy. This pilot study suggests further a potential benefit of increasing etoposide dose in ACC patients receiving mitotane.

Open access

Anne Jouinot, Juliane Lippert, Martin Fassnacht, Bruno de La Villeon, Amandine Septier, Mario Neou, Karine Perlemoine, Silke Appenzeller, Mathilde Sibony, Sébastien Gaujoux, Bertrand Dousset, Rossella Libe, Lionel Groussin, Cristina L Ronchi, Guillaume Assié and Jérôme Bertherat


The prognosis of adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is heterogeneous. Genomic studies have identified ACC subgroups characterized by specific molecular alterations, including features measured at DNA level (somatic mutations, chromosome alterations, DNA methylation), which are closely associated with outcome. The aim of this study was to evaluate intratumor heterogeneity of prognostic molecular markers at the DNA level.


Two different tissue samples (primary tumor, local recurrence or metastasis) were analyzed in 26 patients who underwent surgery for primary or recurrent ACC. DNA-related biomarkers with prognostic role were investigated in frozen and paraffin-embedded samples. Somatic mutations of p53/Rb and Wnt/β-catenin pathways were assessed using next-generation sequencing (n = 26), chromosome alteration profiles were determined using SNP arrays (n = 14) and methylation profiles were determined using four-gene bisulfite pyrosequencing (n = 12).


Somatic mutations for ZNRF3, TP53, CTNN1B and CDKN2A were found in 7, 6, 6 and 4 patients, respectively, with intratumor heterogeneity in 8/26 patients (31%). Chromosome alteration profiles were ‘Noisy’ (numerous and anarchic alterations) in 8/14 and ‘Chromosomal’ (extended patterns of loss of heterozygosity) in 5/14 of the study samples. For these profiles, no intratumor heterogeneity was observed. Methylation profiles were hypermethylated in 5/12 and non-hypermethylated in 7/12 of the study samples. Intratumor heterogeneity of methylation profiles was observed in 2/12 patients (17%).


Intratumor heterogeneity impacts DNA-related molecular markers. While somatic mutation can differ, prognostic DNA methylation and chromosome alteration profile seem rather stable and might be more robust for the prognostic assessment.