Efficacy and Safety of Carboplatin and Etoposide Combination Chemotherapy for Extrapulmonary Neuroendocrine Carcinoma: A Retrospective Case Series

Chemotherapy. 2016;61(3):111-6. doi: 10.1159/000441551. Epub 2015 Dec 5.


Background: Neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) is a rare tumor type, and a standard therapy for NEC has not yet been established. From 2008 to 2013, carboplatin-etoposide combination therapy has been used to treat almost all NEC patients in our department, and the objective of the present study was to investigate the therapeutic effects of carboplatin-etoposide combination therapy in NEC.

Methods: This retrospective study was conducted based on medical records from 2008 to 2013. Eligible patients had been pathologically diagnosed with NEC and had received a carboplatin-etoposide combination as first-line chemotherapy.

Results: Nineteen patients were included in the study, and the overall response rate was 47.4%. The median overall survival was 12.7 months, and the median progression-free survival was 7.0 months. The median survival times were 10.8 and 8.9 months in NEC patients with primary sites in the gastrointestinal tract and hepatobiliary-pancreatic system, respectively. Median progression-free survival times were 5.0 and 3.1 months, respectively. The major toxicities were grade 3 and 4 leukopenia (73.7%), neutropenia (78.9%), anemia (31.6%), and thrombocytopenia (26.3%).

Conclusions: Carboplatin-etoposide combination therapy for NEC may have comparable effectiveness and milder adverse events than cisplatin-etoposide combination therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carboplatin / administration & dosage
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / pathology
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Etoposide / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Etoposide
  • Carboplatin