What Is the Optimal Duration of Adjuvant Mitotane Therapy in Adrenocortical Carcinoma? An Unanswered Question

V. Basile, S. Puglisi*, B. Altieri, L. Canu, R. Libe, F. Ceccato, F. Beuschlein, M. Quinkler, A. Calabrese, P. Perotti, P. Berchialla, U. Dischinger, F. Megerle, E. Baudin, I. Bourdeau, A. Lacroix, P. Loli, A. Berruti, D. Kastelan, H.R. HaakM. Fassnacht, M. Terzolo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A relevant issue on the treatment of adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) concerns the optimal duration of adjuvant mitotane treatment. We tried to address this question, assessing whether a correlation exists between the duration of adjuvant mitotane treatment and recurrence-free survival (RFS) of patients with ACC. We conducted a multicenter retrospective analysis on 154 ACC patients treated for >= 12 months with adjuvant mitotane after radical surgery and who were free of disease at the mitotane stop. During a median follow-up of 38 months, 19 patients (12.3%) experienced recurrence. We calculated the RFS after mitotane (RFSAM), from the landmark time-point of mitotane discontinuation, to overcome immortal time bias. We found a wide variability in the duration of adjuvant mitotane treatment among different centers and also among patients cared for at the same center, reflecting heterogeneous practice. We did not find any survival advantage in patients treated for longer than 24 months. Moreover, the relationship between treatment duration and the frequency of ACC recurrence was not linear after stratifying our patients in tertiles of length of adjuvant treatment. In conclusion, the present findings do not support the concept that extending adjuvant mitotane treatment over two years is beneficial for ACC patients with low to moderate risk of recurrence.
Original languageEnglish
Article number269
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • mitotane
  • adjuvant treatment
  • adrenocortical cancer
  • recurrence
  • recurrence free survival
  • timing


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