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Thyroid Diseases

Cinecalcet (Sensipar) Treatment of Primary Hyperparathyroidism



I would like to ask the status of the cinacalcet drug Sensipar in the treatment of primary hyperparathyroidism. I realize that it is approved for secondary HPT and for parathyroid carcinoma, but I have also read that it is very promising in the treatment of pHPT and may replace surgery and that Amgen has received letters of approval from the FDA for this indication. However, I can`t seem to find exactly what this means, whether it is still in trial or how soon it may be approved for pHPT. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


Cinecalcet suppresses parathyroid hormone production by binding to the calcium receptor on the surface of the parathyroid hormone-secreting cell. It has been studied in the treatment of benign primary hyperparathyroidism, and it appears to be safe and effective. However, so far it has only been studied in a relatively small number of patients. I don't have any information about it's status with the FDA for the treatment of primary hyperparathyroidism.

It should be noted that this is an expensive drug, and it would probably have to be used for the life of the patient if it were given for the treatment of primary hyperparathyroidism. Surgery by an experienced parathyroid surgeon is usually curative and is very safe. I suspect that cinecalcet will need to become a great deal less expensive in order to become the routine treatment of choice for the management of primary hyperparathyroidism.

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Response by:

Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University