Systemic Therapy for Advanced and Metastatic Disease
Somatostatin analogs may be effective in reducing the symptoms of functional tumors.
Chemotherapy using drugs such as the following, either alone or in combination, has been shown to have antitumor effects, but evidence is weak or conflicting regarding the impact of chemotherapy on overall survival:[15,16,17]
More recently, a variety of systemic agents have shown biologic or palliative activity, including:[5,18]
- Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (e.g., sunitinib).
- Vascular endothelial growth factor pathway inhibitors.
- Mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors (e.g., everolimus).
Nearly all of the evidence of activity derives from case series.[Level of evidence 3iiiDiv] However, there are ongoing placebo-controlled randomized trials of everolimus  and sunitinib  that have been reported in abstract form showing an increase in progression-free survival in each case.[Level of evidence 1iDiii]
Favorable responses have been reported in patients with advanced progressive pancreatic NETs after treatment with several radiolabeled somatostatin analogs in which the analogs octreotide, octreotate, lanreotide, or edotreotide are stably attached to the radionuclides 111Indium, 90Ytrium, or 177Lutrium.[21,22,23] The relative efficacy of these various compounds is unknown. Study designs have been limited to case series with tumor response, biochemical response, or symptom control as the measure of efficacy.[Level of evidence 3iiiDiv]
As noted in each of the clinical situations, there is a paucity or absence of high-level evidence, and a need for randomized controlled trials.
Current Clinical Trials
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with islet cell carcinoma. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.
General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.
- Davies K, Conlon KC: Neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas. Curr Gastroenterol Rep 11 (2): 119-27, 2009.
- Phan GQ, Yeo CJ, Hruban RH, et al.: Surgical experience with pancreatic and peripancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: Review of 125 patients. J Gastrointest Surg 2 (5): 473-82, 1998 Sep-Oct.
- Kazanjian KK, Reber HA, Hines OJ: Resection of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: results of 70 cases. Arch Surg 141 (8): 765-9; discussion 769-70, 2006.
- Hochwald SN, Zee S, Conlon KC, et al.: Prognostic factors in pancreatic endocrine neoplasms: an analysis of 136 cases with a proposal for low-grade and intermediate-grade groups. J Clin Oncol 20 (11): 2633-42, 2002.
- Kulke MH, Siu LL, Tepper JE, et al.: Future directions in the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors: consensus report of the National Cancer Institute Neuroendocrine Tumor clinical trials planning meeting. J Clin Oncol 29 (7): 934-43, 2011.
- Sarmiento JM, Que FG: Hepatic surgery for metastases from neuroendocrine tumors. Surg Oncol Clin N Am 12 (1): 231-42, 2003.
- Gupta S, Johnson MM, Murthy R, et al.: Hepatic arterial embolization and chemoembolization for the treatment of patients with metastatic neuroendocrine tumors: variables affecting response rates and survival. Cancer 104 (8): 1590-602, 2005.
- Nguyen C, Faraggi M, Giraudet AL, et al.: Long-term efficacy of radionuclide therapy in patients with disseminated neuroendocrine tumors uncontrolled by conventional therapy. J Nucl Med 45 (10): 1660-8, 2004.
- Kennedy AS, Dezarn WA, McNeillie P, et al.: Radioembolization for unresectable neuroendocrine hepatic metastases using resin 90Y-microspheres: early results in 148 patients. Am J Clin Oncol 31 (3): 271-9, 2008.
- King J, Quinn R, Glenn DM, et al.: Radioembolization with selective internal radiation microspheres for neuroendocrine liver metastases. Cancer 113 (5): 921-9, 2008.
- Siperstein AE, Berber E: Cryoablation, percutaneous alcohol injection, and radiofrequency ablation for treatment of neuroendocrine liver metastases. World J Surg 25 (6): 693-6, 2001.
- Gurusamy KS, Ramamoorthy R, Sharma D, et al.: Liver resection versus other treatments for neuroendocrine tumours in patients with resectable liver metastases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2): CD007060, 2009.
- Gurusamy KS, Pamecha V, Sharma D, et al.: Palliative cytoreductive surgery versus other palliative treatments in patients with unresectable liver metastases from gastro-entero-pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (1): CD007118, 2009.
- di Bartolomeo M, Bajetta E, Buzzoni R, et al.: Clinical efficacy of octreotide in the treatment of metastatic neuroendocrine tumors. A study by the Italian Trials in Medical Oncology Group. Cancer 77 (2): 402-8, 1996.
- Moertel CG, Lefkopoulo M, Lipsitz S, et al.: Streptozocin-doxorubicin, streptozocin-fluorouracil or chlorozotocin in the treatment of advanced islet-cell carcinoma. N Engl J Med 326 (8): 519-23, 1992.
- Kouvaraki MA, Ajani JA, Hoff P, et al.: Fluorouracil, doxorubicin, and streptozocin in the treatment of patients with locally advanced and metastatic pancreatic endocrine carcinomas. J Clin Oncol 22 (23): 4762-71, 2004.
- Kulke MH, Hornick JL, Frauenhoffer C, et al.: O6-methylguanine DNA methyltransferase deficiency and response to temozolomide-based therapy in patients with neuroendocrine tumors. Clin Cancer Res 15 (1): 338-45, 2009.
- Yao JC, Lombard-Bohas C, Baudin E, et al.: Daily oral everolimus activity in patients with metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors after failure of cytotoxic chemotherapy: a phase II trial. J Clin Oncol 28 (1): 69-76, 2010.
- Yao JC, Shah MH, Ito T, et al.: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter phase III trial of everolimus in patients with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNET) (RADIANT-3). [Abstract] Ann Oncol 21 (Suppl 8): A-LBA9, viii4-5, 2010.
- Raymond E, Niccoli-Sire P, Bang Y: Updated results of the phase III trial of sunitinib (SU) versus placebo (PBO) for treatment of advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NET). [Abstract] American Society of Clinical Oncology 2010 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, 22–24 January 2010, Orlando, Florida. A-127, 2010.
- Teunissen JJ, Kwekkeboom DJ, de Jong M, et al.: Endocrine tumours of the gastrointestinal tract. Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol 19 (4): 595-616, 2005.
- Kwekkeboom DJ, de Herder WW, Kam BL, et al.: Treatment with the radiolabeled somatostatin analog [177 Lu-DOTA 0,Tyr3]octreotate: toxicity, efficacy, and survival. J Clin Oncol 26 (13): 2124-30, 2008.
- Bushnell DL Jr, O'Dorisio TM, O'Dorisio MS, et al.: 90Y-edotreotide for metastatic carcinoid refractory to octreotide. J Clin Oncol 28 (10): 1652-9, 2010.