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Ther Adv Med Oncol. 2012 Jan;4(1):9-18. doi: 10.1177/1758834011428147.

Sunitinib in advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: latest evidence and clinical potential.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Univ Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, INSERM U728, and Beaujon and Louis Mourier University Hospital (Assistance Publique Hopitaux de Paris, Paris 7 Diderot), Clichy, France.


Based on preclinical data available in the RIP1-Tag2 transgenic mouse model, sunitinib is an inhibitor of angiogenesis in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors blocking vascular endothelial growth factor receptors and platelet-derived growth factor receptors in endothelial cells and pericytes, respectively. Evidence of objective response in phase I trials justified the initiation of a large phase II/III program using sunitinib in patients with advanced/metastatic well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. In the phase II study, sunitinib showed potent antitumor activity and a safe toxicity profile. In a recent double-blind placebo-controlled randomized phase III trial, sunitinib doubled the progression-free survival of patients, induced objective responses, and reduced the risk of death of patients with advanced/metastatic well-differentiated tumors. These data allowed the approval of sunitinib in several countries including Europe and the United States of America. These recent data provide hope for patients with well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and will change standards of care in this disease.


PDGFR; VEGFR; analogs; angiogenesis; endocrine tumors; mTOR inhibitor; somatostatin combinations

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