Plasma concentrations of o,p'DDD, o,p'DDA, and o,p'DDE as predictors of tumor response to mitotane in adrenocortical carcinoma: results of a retrospective ENS@T multicenter study

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jun;96(6):1844-51. doi: 10.1210/jc.2010-2676. Epub 2011 Apr 6.


Context: In patients with adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) mitotane activity has been suggested to depend on plasma levels 14 mg/liter or greater and metabolite formation.

Objective: The study was performed to confirm the correlation of the currently used mitotane (o,p'DDD) threshold of 14 mg/liter with tumor response and to evaluate the additional value of 1,1-(o,p'-dichlorodiphenyl) acetic acid (o,p'DDA) and o,p'DDE (1,1-(o,p'-dichlorodiphenyl)-2,2 dichloroethene) levels for predicting tumor response.

Subjects/methods: Plasma samples collected within 3 months of best response from 91 patients on mitotane therapy for advanced ACC were analyzed retrospectively. O,p'DDD and metabolites were assessed and related to tumor response and survival. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated for different cutoff levels of o,p'DDD and metabolites.

Results: Objective tumor response was observed in 19% of patients. Median o,p'DDD level was higher in responders (P = 0.03). More responders were found among patients achieving o,p'DDD levels 14 mg/liter or greater (P = 0.02). Univariate and multivariate analysis showed significantly longer survival for patients with o,p'DDD levels 14 mg/liter or greater (hazard ratio 0.52, P = 0.04, hazard ratio 0.46, P = 0.03). An o,p'DDD cutoff value of 14 mg/liter was associated with a sensitivity of 65% and specificity 69%. An o,p'DDD level 20 mg/liter or greater or 14 mg/liter or greater combined with o,p'DDA level 92 mg/liter or greater was associated with a specificity of 90 and 92%, respectively.

Conclusions: Our data confirm the value of o,p'DDD plasma monitoring as well as targeting the 14 mg/liter cutoff level in the therapeutic management of ACC patients. Furthermore, our results suggest additional benefit of higher levels of o,p'DDD and combined measurement of o,p'DDD and o,p'DDA.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / blood*
  • Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / blood*
  • Adrenocortical Carcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitotane / analogs & derivatives*
  • Mitotane / blood*
  • Mitotane / therapeutic use*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • 2,2-(2-chlorophenyl-4'-chlorophenyl)acetic acid
  • Mitotane
  • 2,2-(2-chlorophenyl-4'-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethene