Purpose: Angiogenesis inhibition has emerged as a potentially promising treatment strategy for neuroendocrine tumors. 2-Methoxyestradiol (2ME2; Panzem(®)) is a natural derivative of estradiol with demonstrated anti-angiogenic activity in animal models. We performed a prospective, phase II study of 2ME2, administered in combination with bevacizumab, in patients with advanced carcinoid tumors.
Methods: Thirty-one patients with advanced carcinoid tumors were treated with 2ME2, administered orally at a dose of 1,000 mg four times daily. Patients also received bevacizumab 5 mg/kg intravenously every 2 weeks. Patients were observed for evidence of toxicity, tumor response, and survival.
Results: The combination of 2ME2 and bevacizumab was relatively easily tolerated and was associated with anticipated toxicities for these two agents. No confirmed radiologic responses (by RECIST) were observed. However, 68% of the radiologically evaluable patients experienced at least some degree of tumor reduction, and the median progression-free survival (PFS) time was 11.3 months.
Conclusion: 2ME2 and bevacizumab can be safely administered to patients with advanced carcinoid tumors. While major tumor regression was not observed with this regimen, the encouraging median progression-free survival time suggests that this regimen has some degree of antitumor activity and supports the further investigation of angiogenesis inhibitors in this disease.