Carboplatin in Combination with Oral or Intravenous Etoposide for Extra-Pulmonary, Poorly-Differentiated Neuroendocrine Carcinomas

Melissa Frizziero, Francesca Spada, Angela Lamarca, Zoe Kordatou, Jorge Barriuso, Christina Nuttall, Mairéad G. McNamara, Richard A. Hubner, Wasat Mansoor, Prakash Manoharan, Nicola Fazio, Juan W. Valle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Carboplatin-etoposide (CarboEtop) is a 1st-line option for patients with advanced extra-pulmonary (EP), poorly-differentiated (PD) neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC). Different schedules are used in clinical practice and randomised evidence is lacking. Objectives: To provide real-life outcomes of carboplatin combined with oral or intravenous (IV) etoposide (Etop) in advanced EP-PD-NEC, from 2 specialist centres. Methods: Activity/efficacy/toxicity data of CarboEtop were collected retrospectively and analysed. Results: We identified 113 patients; median age: 65.8 years; male: 64%; gastro-entero-pancreatic origin: 54%; stage IV: 90%; median Ki-67: 70%; median follow-up: 11.5 months. A total of 123 courses of CarboEtop (oral: 45%; IV: 55%) were administered; 106 (86%) 1st-line, 16 (13%) 2nd-line, and 1 (1%) 3rdline. Disease control rate: 74.5% in 1st-line and 69.2% in 2nd/3rd-line, with no significant difference between oral and IV Etop in 1st-line (69.8 vs. 80.8%, p = 0.237). Median progression- free survival (PFS): 6.0 and 4.5 months in 1st-line and 2nd/3rd-line, respectively. Overall survival (OS): 11.5 and 12.5 months in 1st-line and 2nd/3rd-line, respectively. The schedule (oral versus IV Etop) did not impact on 1st-line PFS (5.6 vs. 6.2 months, p = 0.179), although there was a trend towards shorter OS (8.9 vs. 12.1 months, p = 0.069). Liver metastases correlated with worse 1st-line PFS (p = 0.015) and 1st-line OS (p < 0.001) on multivariable analysis. The commonest grade 3-4 adverse event was myelosuppression (49%), with comparable toxicity between oral and IV Etop, except for venous thromboembolism (12.5 vs. 1.7%, p = 0.04). Conclusions: CarboEtop for advanced EP-PD-NEC is active, effective, and welltolerated. Oral and IV Etop schedules are associated with comparable toxicity; activity should be compared in larger cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-112
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2019


  • Carboplatin-etoposide
  • Extra-pulmonary neuroendocrine carcinoma
  • Intravenous etoposide
  • Oral etoposide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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