Drug Des Devel Ther. 2016 Jan 11;10:227-39. doi: 10.2147/DDDT.S77999. eCollection 2016.
Morbidity and mortality rates in patients with active acromegaly are higher than the general population. Adequate biochemical control restores mortality to normal rates. Now, medical therapy has an increasingly important role in the treatment of patients with acromegaly. Somatostatinreceptor ligands (SRLs) are considered the standard medical therapy, either after surgery or as a first-line therapy when surgery is deemed ineffective or is contraindicated. Overall, octreotide and lanreotide are first-generation SRLs and are effective in ~20%-70% of patients. Pegvisomant, a growth hormone receptor antagonist, controls insulin-like growth factor 1 in 65%-90% of cases. Consequently, a subset of patients (nonresponders) requires other treatment options. Drug combination therapy offers the potential for more efficacious disease control. However, the development of new medical therapies remains essential. Here, emphasis is placed on new medical therapies to control acromegaly. There is a focus on pasireotide long-acting release (LAR) (Signifor LAR(®)), which was approved in 2014 by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicine Agency for the treatment of acromegaly. Pasireotide LAR is a long-acting somatostatin multireceptor ligand. In a Phase III clinical trial in patients with acromegaly (naïve to medical therapy or uncontrolled on a maximum dose of first-generation SRLs), 40 and 60 mg of intramuscular pasireotide LAR achieved better biochemical disease control than octreotide LAR, and tumor shrinkage was noted in both pasireotide groups. Pasireotide LAR tolerability was similar to other SRLs, except for a greater frequency and degree of hyperglycemia and diabetes mellitus. Baseline glucose may predict hyperglycemia occurrence after treatment, and careful monitoring of glycemic status and appropriate treatment is required. A precise definition of patients with acromegaly who will derive the greatest therapeutic benefit from pasireotide LAR remains to be established. Lastly, novel therapies and new potential delivery modalities (oral octreotide) are summarized.