Other Drugs Used to Treat Adrenal Cancer

Drugs other than mitotane may be used to block hormones made by the cancer or to lower the effects of the hormones. Treatment with some of these drugs may need to be supervised by an endocrinologist (hormone doctor) because they affect several hormone systems and might make it necessary to replace other hormones.

Ketoconazole and metyrapone can reduce adrenal steroid hormone production. This can help relieve symptoms caused by these hormones, but it doesn't shrink the cancer.

Some drugs block the effects of the hormones made by the tumor. These include:

  • Spironolactone (Aldactone), which decreases effects of aldosterone
  • Mifepristone (Korlym), which decreases cortisol effects
  • Tamoxifen, toremifene (Fareston), and fulvestrant (Faslodex), can block the effects of estrogen. These drugs are more often used to treat breast cancer, but can be useful in some patients (often men) who have adrenal tumors that make estrogen.

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Last Medical Review: December 29, 2017 Last Revised: January 2, 2018

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