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October 3, 1980

Update: pituitary tumor regression with bromocriptine therapy

JAMA. 1980;244(14):1535-1536. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310140003001

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The word is out in Britain and spreading elsewhere: Bromocriptine reduces jumbo prolactinomas to manageable size.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration still recommends use of the synthetic ergot alkaloid, a dopamine agonist, only for lowering serum prolactin levels in hyperprolactinemic patients with no demonstrable prolactinomas (JAMA [MEDICAL NEWS] 242:401, 402, 407-409, 1979). American clinicians generally have used the agent only as a last resort in treating large pituitary tumors, after surgical debulking and external megavoltage irradiation (both notoriously noncurative) have failed. But, like British endocrinologists, American physicians may gradually be coming to regard bromocriptine as the treatment of choice for some of these hardy neoplasms.

The most recent British research was reported at a satellite meeting of the Sixth International Congress of Endocrinology in Adelaide, Australia, last February. At that meeting, Alan M. McGregor, MB, MRCP, of Cardiff, Wales, reported tumor regression in 12 of