Therapy innovation for the treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors

Ferdinando Riccardi, Mimma Rizzo, Lucia Festino, Francesca Ambrosio, Carlo Molino, Generoso Uomo, Giacomo Cartenì

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: Traditional therapeutic approaches for patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) have included treatment with somatostatin analogs, hepatic-directed therapies, interferon and cytotoxic chemotherapy. Current knowledge about biological behavior of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) has increased in the last decade, and some studies have been conducted to translate in the clinical setting. Among several molecular agents investigated in patients with progressive pNETs, everolimus and sunitinib have been studied in large Phase III trials. Both have produced significant benefit, with improvement in progression-free survival. These results were published last year by NEJM and were updated at the ASCO Annual Meeting in June 2011. Areas covered: This review focuses on the potential molecular targets in pancreatic NETs in the light of recent advances. Furthermore, it summarizes the available data for targeted agents from Phase II and III trials open to patients with this tumor. Expert opinion: These new agents are likely to play an increasingly important role in the future management of advanced pNETs. Their use in earlier phases of the disease could improve clinical outcome, avoiding side effects of the more toxic chemotherapy. The challenge in medical treatment of pNET is to define the patients who can benefit from this innovative therapy; future research should be directed to find predictive markers for response to the targeted agent.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExpert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets
Volume16
Issue numberSUPPL.2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012

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Keywords

  • angiogenesis
  • everolimus
  • molecular target
  • mTOR
  • pancreatic NET
  • somatostatin analog
  • sunitinib

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine

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