Effect of octreotide long-acting release on tregs and mdsc cells in neuroendocrine tumour patients: A pivotal prospective study

Claudia von Arx, Giuseppina Rea, Maria Napolitano, Alessandro Ottaiano, Fabiana Tatangelo, Francesco Izzo, Antonella Petrillo, Ottavia Clemente, Antonella Di Sarno, Gerardo Botti, Stefania Scala, Salvatore Tafuto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Octreotide long-acting repeatable (LAR) is largely used to treat functional and/or metastatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs). Its effect in controlling carcinoid syndrome and partially reduce tumour burden is attributable to the ability of octreotide to bind somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) on the tumour and metastasis, regulating growth hormone secretion and cell growth. Notably, SSTRs are also expressed, at different levels, on Tregs. Tregs, together with myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), are key components in the anti-tumour immunoregulation. This is the first prospective study aimed to explore the impact of Octreotide (OCT) LAR on the immune system, with a particular focus on Tregs and MDSC cells. Here, we show that circulating Tregs are elevated in NENs patients compared to healthy donors and that treatment with OCT LAR significantly decrease the level of total Tregs and of the three functional Tregs populations: nTregs, eTregs and non-Tregs. Furthermore, OCT LAR treatment induces a functional impairment of the remaining circulating Tregs, significantly decreasing the expression of PD1, CTLA4 and ENTPD1. A trend in circulating MDSC cells is reported in patients treated with OCT LAR. The results reported here suggest that the effect of OCT LAR on Tregs could tip the balance of the patients’ immune-system towards a durable anti-tumour immunosurveillance with consequent long-term control of the NENs disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2422
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Immune-response modulation
  • MDSCs
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Octreotide
  • Tregs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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