Neuroendocrine tumors are a rare and heterogeneous group of tumors with a variety of primary origins and variable aggressiveness. Platinum-based chemotherapy has been the cornerstone of treatment for the poorly differentiated tumors. However, well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors are quite chemoresistant and therapy options are limited. Octreotide analogs and tyrosine kinase inhibitors are widely acceptable treatments due to substantial efficacy and tolerable toxicity. On the contrary, monotherapy or combinations of the only approved cytotoxic agent streptozocin with other drugs have been almost abandoned because of excessive toxic events. In recent years, the combination of capecitabine and temozolomide has emerged as the most promising and efficacious treatment. The oral route of administration and the substantial improvement in the outcomes with manageable toxicity are the major advantages. We reviewed the current literature and presented the profile of the capecitabine/temozolomide combination in the management of well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors.
Keywords: capecitabine; neuroendocrine tumors; octreotide analogs; streptozocin; temozolomide; toxicity.