Aim: To assess the value of pancreastatin as a predictive factor for identifying patients with neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) who respond poorly to somatostatin analogues.
Methods: A retrospective study of patients with NETs. Patient records from the Northern Ireland Neuroendocrine Tumour Register were interrogated. Those who had pancreastatin concentrations measured on two or more occasions, before and during somatostatin analogue therapy (within the set time-limits) were selected. Data relating to diagnosis, surgery, somatostatin analogue therapy and survival outcome were noted. Data were subjected to univariate and multivariate analysis using Cox proportional hazard model.
Results: Fifty-nine patients with gastroenteropancreatic NETs fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Factors associated with a poor survival outcome on univariate analysis were primary tumour site (P = 0.006) and rapid rise in pancreastatin during somatostatin analogue treatment (P < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, highly significant clinical prognostic indicators were: tumour location (P < 0.001), pre-treatment pancreastatin (P < 0.001) and pancreastatin change (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: This study endorses the finding that pancreastatin is a useful prognostic indicator of neuroendocrine disease. On commencement of treatment, one-third of the subjects showed an immediate negative pancreastatin response to somatostatin analogues, which was associated with poor survival. This is the first study to document such an association. These findings have significant therapeutic consequences. In the presence of a rapidly rising pancreastatin alternative, treatment modalities should be sought.