Conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy is not usually effective in neuroendocrine tumours (NET). Somatostatin analogues (SSA) such as octreotide (Sandostatin; octreotide LAR and lanreotide) are typically used to treat symptoms caused by NET, but not as the primary treatment aiming for an objective response. Recently, results from the PROMID (Placebo-controlled prospective Randomized study on the antiproliferative efficacy of Octreotide LAR in patients with metastatic neuroendocrine MIDgut tumours) trial were published showing thatoctreotide LAR significantly lengthens the time to tumour progression compared with a placebo in patients with functionally active and inactive metastatic midgut NET. We report a retrospective descriptive analysis of six patients, treated at two Australian institutions, who obtained an objective radiological tumour response on long acting SSA. In this retrospective series of NET, radiological responses were observed using single agent SSA, which was administered mainly for symptom management. This could be due to an antiproliferative and/or antiangiogenic activity of this agent in NET. A response can occur beyond 12 months, which might explain why the response rate is under reported in NET trials. Further investigation in prospective trials is warranted and the possibility for late responses might have implications for trial design.
Objective radiological disease control with sandostatin monotherapy in metastatic neuroendocrine tumours