Treatment of carcinoid syndrome: a prospective crossover evaluation of lanreotide versus octreotide in terms of efficacy, patient acceptability, and tolerance

Cancer. 2000 Feb 15;88(4):770-6. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0142(20000215)88:4<770::aid-cncr6>;2-0.


Background: The somatostatin analogues lanreotide and octreotide have previously been shown to be effective in controlling flushing and diarrhea in patients with carcinoid syndrome. As lanreotide requires injection only every 10 days, compared with twice-daily injections of octreotide, a direct comparison between these two treatments in terms of patient acceptability, patient preference, and efficacy in controlling symptoms was performed in patients with carcinoid syndrome.

Methods: Thirty-three patients with carcinoid syndrome were included in an open, multicenter, crossover study. Half of the patients received octreotide 200 microg subcutaneously twice or thrice daily for 1 month followed by lanreotide 30 mg intramuscularly every 10 days for 1 month, while the other half commenced with lanreotide followed by octreotide in a similar fashion. Quality-of-life assessments were performed at each visit and patient preference for one of the two treatments evaluated. The number and intensity of flushing episodes and bowel movements, urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA) levels, and plasma serotonin levels were recorded.

Results: No significant differences were found between lanreotide and octreotide in terms of quality of life. The majority of patients (68%) preferred lanreotide (P = 0.03), largely due to its simplified mode of administration. Disappearance or improvement in flushes occurred in 53.8% of patients (14 of 26) while on lanreotide and in 68% (17 of 25) on octreotide. A disappearance or improvement of diarrhea in 45.4% (10 of 22) on lanreotide, compared with 50% (11 of 22) on octreotide, was also observed. Lanreotide and octreotide were equally effective in reducing urinary 5HIAA levels and plasma serotonin levels. Both treatments were well tolerated, with mild symptoms of abdominal pain and nausea observed in 29% and 14% receiving octreotide and lanreotide, respectively.

Conclusions: Lanreotide and octreotide are equally efficacious in terms of symptom control and reduction in tumor cell markers for patients with carcinoid syndrome. Due to its simplified mode of administration, most patients prefer treatment with lanreotide.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Carcinoid Tumor / complications
  • Carcinoid Tumor / diagnosis
  • Carcinoid Tumor / drug therapy*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diarrhea / etiology
  • Female
  • Flushing / etiology
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / complications
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid / urine
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Octreotide / adverse effects
  • Octreotide / therapeutic use*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Peptides, Cyclic / adverse effects
  • Peptides, Cyclic / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Serotonin / blood
  • Somatostatin / adverse effects
  • Somatostatin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Somatostatin / therapeutic use


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Peptides, Cyclic
  • lanreotide
  • Serotonin
  • Somatostatin
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid
  • Octreotide