The role of somatostatin analogues in the treatment of gastro-enteropancreatic endocrine tumours

E. Bajetta, C. Carnaghi, L. Ferrari, I. Spagnoli, V. Mazzaferro, R. Buzzoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neuroendocrine (NE) cells are involved in gastro-enteropancreatic (GEP) neoplasms. Biological markers, such as peptides hypersecreted by biologically active NE tumours, aid in the evaluation of response to treatment. For surgically untreatable NE neoplasms, the therapeutic approach remains undefined. Somatostatin analogues, particularly octreotide, can control the clinical effects of hormone overproduction in NE neoplasms and they have revolutionised individualised treatment, particularly for biologically active tumours. So far, like interferon, octreotide used at standard dosages has failed to control neoplastic growth per se. We gave the somatostatin analogue lanreotide to women with advanced breast cancer and to colorectal carcinoma patients. Results confirmed that inhibition of the production of insulin-like growth factor-1, which plays an important role in neoplastic proliferation, could be obtained using the highest doses. Considering these data, we started a clinical trial of 58 patients affected by NE tumours, treated with two sequential doses (500 and 1000 μg subcutaneously t.i.d.) of octreotide. Long-term disease stabilisation (> 6 months) was achieved in 43% of patients but an objective response in only 3%. Good control of clinical symptoms and markers was obtained in 73 and 77% of cases, respectively. Toxicity was negligible. Somatostatin analogues should be carefully evaluated at high doses for possible anti-proliferative effects. Studies are currently investigating their promising association with interferon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-76
Number of pages5
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1996


  • Analogues
  • Anti-proliferative
  • Hypersecretion
  • Interferon
  • Neoplasms
  • Neuroendocrine
  • Octreotide
  • Peptide
  • Somatostatin
  • Stabilisation
  • Tumours

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of somatostatin analogues in the treatment of gastro-enteropancreatic endocrine tumours'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this