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Everolimus prolongs progression-free survival for patients with neuroendocrine tumors
Date:11/29/2011

HOUSTON -- Combination treatment with everolimus, an inhibitor of the mammalian target rapamycin (mTOR), and octreotide has shown to improve progression-free survival for patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumors and a history of carcinoid syndrome, according to researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Results of the international, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase III study were published today in the journal Lancet.

The treatment combination of everolimus and octreotide long-acting repeatable (LAR), a somatostatin analogue that has shown antitumor activity, led to a clinically meaningful five-month delay in tumor growth, compared to octreotide alone.

Neuroendocrine tumors, also known as carcinoids, are uncommon tumors arising from various primary sites. Frequently, carcinoids spread to the liver, causing a variety of symptoms termed carcinoid syndrome.

"There are currently no Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs for oncologic control of most neuroendocrine tumors," said James C. Yao, M.D., associate professor in MD Anderson's Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology. "This research offers a promising option where there were limited options previously."

Dangerous and rare tumors

According to Yao, the number of people diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumors has increased more than five-fold over the past 30 years, from one in 100,000 people per year to 5.25 in 100,000 people per year. Nearly half of patients have regional or distant metastatic disease and 65 percent of those with advanced disease die within five years of diagnosis.

Everolimus, an immunosupressant agent used to prevent rejection of organ transplants, inhibits the mTOR protein, a central regulator of tumor cell division and blood vessel growth in cancer cells. Overaction of mTOR has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neuroendocrine tumors.

Preclinical studies have shown that mTOR inhibition m
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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
713-792-0655
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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