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Deborah Cosentini, Salvatore Grisanti, Alberto Dalla Volta, Marta Laganà, Chiara Fiorentini, Paola Perotti, Sandra Sigala and Alfredo Berruti

Immunotherapy is widely used in the treatment of different cancer types, including metastatic melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma and urothelial cancer. The results of the phase I JAVELIN study failed to demonstrate a substantial activity of the PDL-1 inhibitor Avelumab in advanced adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC). This editorial focus on the possible mechanisms of ACC immunoevasion and suggests strategies to overcome the intrinsic immunotherapy resistance of this disease.

Open access

Soraya Puglisi, Paola Perotti, Mattia Barbot, Paolo Cosio, Carla Scaroni, Antonio Stigliano, Pina Lardo, Valentina Morelli, Elisa Polledri, Iacopo Chiodini, Giuseppe Reimondo, Anna Pia and Massimo Terzolo


Metyrapone has been approved for the treatment of patients with Cushing’s syndrome (CS), but only few retrospective clinical studies are available. The aim of our study was the prospective assessment of metyrapone as pre-operative treatment.

Design and methods

Before adrenalectomy, seven patients with ACTH-independent CS due to adrenal adenoma were prospectively treated with metyrapone for 3 months in three tertiary academic centers, with endocrine work-up and clinical evaluation at screening and at predefined evaluation time points (Days 14, 31, 48, 65, 82).


In all patients, UFC levels decreased up to normal range from baseline to Day 82 (609 (188–1476) vs 69 (28–152) nmol/24 h, P < 0.02), with a reduction of serum and salivary cortisol levels, and no significant increase of plasma ACTH and serum DHEAS levels. Clinical improvement was reported on quality of life (+16.7 (+4.2; +52.00) points, P < 0.04) and pressure control (systolic pressure, −25 (−52; −10) mmHg, P < 0.01; diastolic pressure, −16 (−50; +2 mmHg), P < 0.03). No significant change in weight, electrolytes, glycemic and lipid profile was reported. Although in women a significant increase of testosterone and androstenedione was reported, no worsening of clinical hyperandrogenism was observed. All drug-related adverse events (nausea, fatigue, low grade fever, edema of lower limbs and facial rash) were grade 1 or 2 and generally transient.


This prospective pilot study demonstrated that metyrapone is effective in normalizing biochemical and clinical parameters in patients with CS due to adrenal adenoma before surgical intervention, with minimal side effects.