Background: Pancreatic endocrine carcinomas are rare and heterogeneous. Published results concerning treatment of advanced tumours are inconsistent and responses to standard chemotherapy remain unsatisfactory.
Aim: To investigate the ability of the FOLFIRI regimen to manage progressive unresectable metastatic well-differentiated endocrine carcinomas of the pancreas as first-line chemotherapy.
Methods: 20 patients with metastatic or advanced well-differentiated endocrine carcinomas of the pancreas and progressive disease were enrolled in a prospective multicentre phase II trial to receive chemotherapy with FOLFIRI schedule (irinotecan 180mg/m(2) infusion combined with simplified LV5FU2) every 14 days. The primary end point was the non-progression rate at 6 months.
Results: The 6-month non-progression rate was 80% (95% confidence interval [56-94%]), with stabilisation in 15 patients and 1 objective response. Overall survival at 24 months was 65% [40-82%]. Median progression-free survival was 9.1 months [6.5-17.3 months]. The median number of administered cycles was 12 [range 1-28]. Grade 3/4 haematologic toxicity occurred in 5 patients (25%) and grade 3 digestive toxicity in 11.
Conclusion: The FOLFIRI regimen, as first-line chemotherapy, achieved stabilisation in most patients whose tumours had been progressing and was well-tolerated. It could be an alternative therapy for advanced well-differentiated endocrine carcinomas of the pancreas.
Copyright © 2011 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.