Background: Octreotide LAR is an established treatment for malignant carcinoid syndrome. However, studies with large number of patients and long follow-up are lacking.
Aim: To present long-terms results with octreotide LAR, assessing duration of clinical and objective response and treatment tolerance, in a large, homogeneous cohort of patients with malignant carcinoid syndrome.
Methods: A total of 108 patients with metastatic midgut neuroendocrine tumours were included in this 8-year study. Clinical evaluation was based on a symptom score. Radiological assessment was based on RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumours) criteria.
Results: Of the 108 patients, 24% had a sustained symptomatic response. In the remaining patients, loss of symptomatic response with the initial dose was noted within 3-60 months. In 17% of them, symptoms were controlled by just an increase of octreotide LAR dose, whilst the other patients required additional treatment. Overall, in 45.3% of patients, symptoms were well controlled during the study period with only octreotide LAR, and no additional treatment was required. No significant adverse effects were noted.
Conclusions: Octreotide LAR treatment provides a sustained symptomatic response in about half of the patients with malignant carcinoid syndrome and contributes to disease stabilization for a longer period than previously described.