Metastatic prostatic adenocarcinoma presenting as a pituitary mass: shrinkage of the lesion and clinical improvement with medical treatment

Prostate. 1997 Sep 1;32(4):241-5. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0045(19970901)32:4<241::aid-pros3>;2-m.


Background: Metastatic involvement of the pituitary gland is a very unusual presentation of prostatic cancer. We report a favorable response to medical treatment in such a patient.

Methods and results: A 77-year-old man presented with blindness, ophthalmoplegia in his left eye, and mild impairment of memory and mental status. Neuroradiological studies showed a huge intra- and suprasellar lesion that destroyed the sellar floor and extended into the sphenoid sinus. Transsphenoidal biopsy of the lesion demonstrated a prostatic adenocarcinoma. Postoperative studies revealed an enlarged prostate gland and multiple lytic bone lesions. The patient was treated with a combination of leuprolide acetate plus flutamide. Four months later, the patient exhibited a marked improvement in his neurologic status and regained vision in the right eye (visual acuity 6/20). Repeat magnetic resonance imaging of the sellar region confirmed a striking shrinkage of the prostatic metastasis. The clinical status remained stable for 22 months, after which time the disease progressed and the patient died 25 months after beginning treatment.

Conclusions: A favorable response to combined androgen blockade suggests that medical therapy should be considered the therapy of first choice when surgical removal of the metastatic lesion in the pituitary is impossible or too risky.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary*
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Biopsy
  • Bone Neoplasms / secondary
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Flutamide / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Leuprolide / administration & dosage
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Time Factors


  • Flutamide
  • Leuprolide