Within the past year, we have been very interested to read about the experimental use of a new generation of medications that are aimed at treating the root cause of pituitary Cushing's, rather than merely controlling symptoms alone. Here are two related articles published by noted endocrinologist, Dr. David Bruyette:



As you'll see from Dr. Bruyette's summaries, many of the drug possibilities are still in experimental trials with humans, and have not been tested at all in dogs. We've also learned from talking to him directly that the extremely high cost of some of the possibilities will render them generally unavailable to the average owner at this time. One such example is retinoic acid, which thus far has been most widely tested in South America. However, one of our members has made contact with both the lead investigator in Argentina (as well as a pharmacy there), and reports that it may be possible to import retinoic acid. He has not yet attempted to do so yet, but here is his thread for folks who may be interested in learning more:

Has anyone treated with 9-cis Retinoic Acid?

Right now, it seems as though cabergoline is the experimental alternative that would be the most accessible option for canine pituitary patients in the U.S. It is readily available from general human pharmacies, although I am not certain about the cost. The big benefit of cabergoline is that it appears to have the ability to actually shrink enlarging pituitary tumors in addition to controlling symptoms. The downside is that only certain tumors seem to be receptive. In the studies thus far, 40% of the dogs responded, most generally when their tumors were located in the pars intermedia area of the pituitary gland.

We have had at least one member, though, who reports cabergoline treatment success overseen by Dr. Bruyette himself. We also have a couple of other members who are now considering the treatment for their dogs, as well. For that reason, we are especially interested in starting this thread so that they -- and anyone else -- can tell us more about their experiences with any of these novel treatments.