Corticorelin, a synthetic human corticotropin-releasing factor analog, for the treatment of peritumoral brain edema.Curr Opin Mol Ther 2010; 12(6):780-9CO
Corticorelin is a synthetic analog of the naturally occurring human peptide corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF). Several studies have indicated the ability of CRF to reduce the brain edema caused by brain tumors. Peritumoral brain edema (PBE), caused by an intracerebral tumor, manifests several features of vasogenic edema, which is a type of edema characterized by disruption of the blood-brain barrier. Traditionally, PBE has been treated using corticosteroids, primarily dexamethasone. Introduced more than four decades ago, dexamethasone revolutionized the treatment of PBE, but the side effects and withdrawal symptoms associated with corticosteroids propelled the investigation of other drugs. Clinical trials with the synthetic human CRF (hCRF) corticorelin (Xerecept, NEU-3002; Celtic Pharmaceutical Holdings) have indicated that this drug has a distinct advantage over classical corticosteroids in the treatment of PBE. Fewer and/or milder side effects have been reported for corticorelin compared with dexamethasone, although at higher doses of corticorelin several side effects, including hypotension and transient flushing, have been reported. Nevertheless, corticorelin was reasonably well tolerated in patients and healthy volunteers, and may be a good candidate for reducing PBE and associated neural damage, as well as improving neurological symptoms.