Temozolomide (TEM) showed encouraging results in well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (WDPNETs). Low O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) expression and MGMT promoter methylation within tumors correlate with a better outcome under TEM-based chemotherapy in glioblastoma. We aimed to assess whether MGMT expression and MGMT promoter methylation could help predict the efficacy of TEM-based chemotherapy in patients with WDPNET. Consecutive patients with progressive WDPNET and/or liver involvement over 50% who received TEM between 2006 and 2012 were retrospectively studied. Tumor response was assessed according to Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) 1.1 guidelines. Nuclear expression of MGMT was assessed by immunochemistry (H-score, 0-300) and MGMT promoter methylation by pyrosequencing. Forty-three patients (21 men, 58years (27-84)) with grade 1 WDPNET (n=6) or 2 (n=36) were analyzed. Objective response, stable disease, and progression rates were seen in 17 patients (39.5%), 18 patients (41.9%), and 8 patients (18.6%), respectively. Low MGMT expression (≤50) was associated with radiological objective response (P=0.04) and better progression-free survival (PFS) (HR=0.35 (0.15-0.81), P=0.01). Disease control rate at 18months of treatment remained satisfying with an MGMT score up to 100 (74%) but dropped with a higher expression. High MGMT promoter methylation was associated with a low MGMT expression and longer PFS (HR=0.37 (0.29-1.08), P=0.05). Low MGMT score (≤50) appears to predict an objective tumor response, whereas an intermediate MGMT score (50-100) seems to be associated with prolonged stable disease.
Keywords: MGMT; methylation; pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors; temozolomide.
© 2016 Society for Endocrinology.