First-line treatment of patients with disseminated poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas with carboplatin, etoposide, and vincristine: a single institution experience

Acta Oncol. 2012 Jan;51(1):97-100. doi: 10.3109/0284186X.2011.582881. Epub 2011 May 26.


Poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas (PDECs) represent highly malignant tumors with an immense tendency to metastasize and with a poor prognosis. The treatment consists of palliative chemotherapy and corresponds to the treatment of extensive stage small cell lung cancer.

Material and methods: We present the patient characteristics and treatment results of 31 consecutive, chemonaïve patients with PDECs treated with carboplatin, etoposide, and vincristine.

Results: The response rate was 52%, the disease control rate 77%, and the median overall survival 15.3 months. The one-year survival rate was 55%, and the two-year survival rate was 19%. The median progression free survival (PFS) time was 6.6 months. Survival rates did not correlate with the Ki-67 proliferation index. The treatment was well tolerated.

Conclusion: Treatment results with carboplatin, etoposide, and vincristine in chemonaïve patients with PDECs are comparable to those in patients with SCLC. The prognosis is however poor.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / pathology
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage


  • Vincristine
  • Etoposide
  • Carboplatin