Treatment with combined streptozotocin and liposomal doxorubicin in metastatic endocrine pancreatic tumors

Neuroendocrinology. 2008;88(1):53-8. doi: 10.1159/000117575. Epub 2008 Feb 18.


Treatment with combined streptozotocin and liposomal doxorubicin is safe and efficient in patients with endocrine pancreatic tumors (EPTs). No cardiac toxicity was reported.

Background: The combination of streptozotocin and doxorubicin has been shown to be superior to streptozotocin and fluorouracil in the treatment of metastatic EPTs. However, the risk of cardiac toxicity from anthracyclins hampers the usefulness of the drug combination. Liposomal doxorubicin has a lower frequency of cardiac adverse events compared to doxorubicin. We wanted to assess the efficacy and safety of combined streptozotocin and liposomal doxorubicin in patients with metastatic EPTs.

Methods: Thirty patients with metastatic EPTs were recruited from three medical centers in Norway and Sweden during a time period of 3 years. All patients had histopathologically confirmed diagnoses and bidimensionally measurable lesions. 30 mg/m(2) of liposomal doxorubicin was administered on day 1 of each cycle. During the first course, 1 g of streptozotocin was given on 5 consecutive days. Thereafter, 2 g of streptozotocin was given on day 1 only. Treatment was repeated every 3 weeks.

Results: Twelve of 30 patients (40%) achieved an objective radiological response with a median duration of 9 months. Stabilization of disease was achieved in 17 of 30 patients (57%) for a median duration of 11 months. Only one patient had progressive disease as best response. The 2-year progression-free survival was 18% and the 2-year overall survival was 72%. The treatment was well tolerated. None of the patients experienced cardiac toxicity.

Conclusion: We conclude that combined streptozotocin and liposomal doxorubicin is a safe and efficient treatment for EPTs. The efficacy seems to be comparable to that of combined streptozotocin and doxorubicin, whereas the cardiac toxicity clearly favors using the liposomal drug combination.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Endocrine Gland Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Endocrine Gland Neoplasms / mortality
  • Endocrine Gland Neoplasms / secondary
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Streptozocin / administration & dosage
  • Survival Rate


  • Streptozocin
  • Doxorubicin