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New treatment strategies in advanced neuroendocrine tumours.

Author(s): Walter T, Brixi-Benmansour H, Lombard-Bohas C, Cadiot G

Affiliation(s): Federation des Specialites Digestives, Hopital Edouard Herriot, Lyon CEDEX 03, France.

Publication date & source: 2011-10-07, Dig Liver Dis., [Epub ahead of print]

Malignant well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumours of the pancreas and the gastrointestinal tract are rare and clinically challenging heterogeneous neoplasms. This review focuses on neuroendocrine tumours grade 1 and grade 2 (new WHO classification 2010), in comparison to the neuroendocrine tumours grade 3 group, corresponding to poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas. Surgical resection of the primary and metastases remains the only curative treatment, however many patients with neuroendocrine tumours are diagnosed once unresectable metastases have occurred; management of functioning syndromes with somatostatin analogues remains the priority. Pasireotide, a new somatostatin analogue, is currently undergoing evaluation for carcinoid syndrome. Treatment options for advanced neuroendocrine tumours differ from pancreatic gastrointestinal tract neuroendocrine tumours: (a) in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours, streptozotocin-based chemotherapies are challenged by other cytotoxic agents (dacarbazine, temozolomide and oxaliplatin); two randomized, placebo-controlled phase III studies have demonstrated that everolimus and sunitinib significantly improved progression-free-survival; (b) in midgut neuroendocrine tumours, octreotide improved time-to-progression in patients with a low proliferation index and low liver burden; preliminary data suggesting efficacy of bevacizumab are still to be confirmed; the effect of everolimus associated with octreotide was almost significant on progression-free-survival in a phase III trial. Liver-directed therapies are effective in both tumour types. New techniques of embolization need further evaluation and must be formally compared to other therapies. Finally, peptide receptor radionuclide therapy has shown promising activity in non-comparative studies in advanced neuroendocrine tumours. Copyright (c) 2011 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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