Symptomatic Control of Neuroendocrine Tumours with Everolimus

Horm Cancer. 2015 Dec;6(5-6):254-9. doi: 10.1007/s12672-015-0233-2. Epub 2015 Aug 6.


Everolimus, a mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor, increases progression-free survival in patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumours. Patients with neuroendocrine tumours and symptomatic carcinoid have inferior health-related quality of life than those without symptoms. We aimed to evaluate the effect of everolimus on symptomatic control of neuroendocrine tumours. Fifteen patients with metastatic neuroendocrine disease pre-treated with depot octreotide received combination everolimus and octreotide (midgut = 8, pancreatic = 3, other = 4). Reasons for initiation of everolimus were progressive disease (PD) by response evaluation criteria in solid tumours (n = 5), worsening syndromic symptomology (n = 5), or both (n = 5). Symptomatic and objective response and toxicity were evaluated using standard criteria. 7/10 patients who were syndromic had improvements in symptomology, with a mean duration of symptom control 13.9 months (range 1-39). All 10 symptomatic patients had non pancreatic neuroendocrine (pNET) primaries, and with everolimus, 6/10 had reduced stool frequency, 3/7 had a reduction of asthenia, and 5/7 had reduced frequency and severity of flushing. Sixty percent of patients experienced any grade toxicities, including the following: 40% grade 1/2 stomatitis, 7% grade 3/4 stomatitis, 20% grade 1/2 rash, 13% diarrhoea, and one case of pneumonitis. In this cohort of 15 patients, we demonstrated that 70% of non pNET individuals with common carcinoid syndrome symptoms resistant to depot octreotide had improvement in these symptoms on institution of everolimus, with meaningful durations of symptom control. Although this data is observational, to our knowledge, this represents the largest analysis of carcinoid syndrome control with combined everolimus and octreotide.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Everolimus / administration & dosage
  • Everolimus / adverse effects
  • Everolimus / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / diagnosis
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Retreatment
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Everolimus