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Ann Oncol. 2002 Apr;13(4):614-21.

Efficacy of a chemotherapy combination for the treatment of metastatic neuroendocrine tumours.

Author information

1
Medical Oncology Unit B, Istituto Nazionale per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori di Milano, Italy. bajetta@istitutotumori.mi.it

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are heterogeneous neoplasms for which there is no standard treatment. We have previously proposed an effective polychemotherapy (5-fluorouracil, dacarbazine and epirubicin), which only produced objective responses of brief duration. The present study aimed to assess in a multidisciplinary manner the efficacy of the same regimen at intensified doses in patients with advanced NETs.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Eighty-two consecutive patients entered the study, of whom 21 had inoperable, locally advanced disease and 61 had metastatic disease. Seventy-two patients were evaluated for objective, biochemical and subjective responses. Response rate, time to progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS) were evaluated based on histotype.

RESULTS:

An objective response was observed in 20 patients (intention-to-treat and standard analysis 24.4% and 27.8%, respectively). Complete biochemical and subjective responses were obtained in 25.1% and 38.9% of the cases. The median duration of treatment was 4 months and the objective responses had a median duration of 38 months. After a 60-month follow-up the median TTP and OS were 21 and 38 months, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our polychemotherapy regimen is effective, with long duration, and is well tolerated both for gastroenteropancreatic and lung NETs, as well as for tumours with a more aggressive clinical behaviour. The new WHO endocrine tumour histotyping, examining also the tumour biology, may give additional information for selecting patients to chemotherapy.

PMID:
12056713
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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