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Phase III study shows everolimus delays tumor progression in hard-to-treat neuroendocrine tumors
Date:10/12/2010

o octreotide LAR and were pleased with the resulting 5.1 month difference."

Currently, treatment options for neuroendocrine tumors are limited. Chemotherapy is only effective in neuroendocrine tumors affecting the pancreas. For tumors that originate in other organs, treatments include somatostatin analogs that control symptoms related to over-secretion of compounds such as serotonin. Interferon-alpha is also approved for these types of neuroendocrine tumors which are also referred to as carcinoid tumors. A placebo-controlled trial recently demonstrated that octreotide LAR has anti-tumor effects in neuroendocrine tumors of the small intestine.

"Since chemotherapeutic drugs are not effective in this type of neuroendocrine tumor patient, we now have for the first time a drug that has been studied in a Phase-III trial that offers antitumor efficacy in addition to the currently available agents, somatostatin analogs and interferon," Dr Pavel said.

"I think the drug will be further explored in this type of tumor. It seems important to identify patients that may benefit most from the combination of everolimus and octreotide LAR compared to octreotide LAR alone."

Dr Roberto Labianca from Ospedali Riuniti di Bergamo, Italy, commented: "This large Phase III trial in a rare tumor shows that everolimus is able to increase the efficacy of octreotide LAR, at the present time the standard treatment for advanced neuroendocrine tumors."

"This trial should be considered a practice-changing achievement but it is essential that selection criteria are refined in order to identify the population more likely to respond to this approach," Dr Labianca said. "Further trials in this field are needed, preferably in the frame of a large cooperative collaboration."


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Contact: Vanessa Pavinato
media@esmo.org
European Society for Medical Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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