Objective: Somatostatin analogs are the first-line drugs for controlling hormone-mediated symptoms of carcinoid tumors. Prospective and retrospective studies have suggested that somatostatin analogs also have antiproliferative activity. The octapeptide lanreotide is available in sustained-release form, obviating the need for daily injections.
Methods: A total of 46 patients were enrolled in this open, prospective, phase II trial. They received lanreotide 30 mg i.m. every 14 days for 6 months when they had symptomatic carcinoid tumors, and lanreotide 30 mg i.m. every 10 days if they had nonsymptomatic tumors. Nonsymptomatic tumors were progressive before the start of the study. Tumor size was assessed every 3 months by means of computed tomography. The assessment was centralized and was made by an external panel.
Results: In all, 30 patients had symptomatic neuroendocrine tumors and 16 had asymptomatic neuroendocrine tumors. Five patients in the group with symptomatic tumors and two in the group with nonsymptomatic tumors were considered not to be evaluable. The mean duration of treatment was 12 months in the group with symptomatic tumors and 13 months in the other group. Among the 39 evaluable patients, two objective responses were obtained, giving an objective response rate of 5% (one in the group with symptomatic tumors and one in the other group). Nineteen patients had no significant increase in their tumor size for a mean of 9.5 months.
Conclusions: Lanreotide is safe and well tolerated in patients with carcinoid tumors. It seems to have both symptomatic and antitumoral effects in this setting.