Relationship Between Symptoms and Health-related Quality-of-life Benefits in Patients With Carcinoid Syndrome: Post Hoc Analyses From TELESTAR

Clin Ther. 2018 Dec;40(12):2006-2020.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2018.10.008. Epub 2018 Nov 24.


Purpose: Patients with metastatic neuroendocrine tumors and carcinoid syndrome (CS) may experience chronic, recurring symptoms despite somatostatin analogue therapy. Little is known about the relationship between bowel movement (BM) frequency, patient-reported symptoms and health-related quality of life (QoL). Data from the TELESTAR study were used in exploratory, post hoc analyses to understand the relationship between durable reductions in BM frequency, symptom relief, and health-related QoL.

Methods: Patients with metastatic neuroendocrine tumors and CS in the Phase III TELESTAR study were randomized (1:1:1) to receive telotristat ethyl (TE) 250 mg, TE 500 mg, or placebo three times daily (TID) during a 12-week double-blind treatment period (DBTP). All patients received TE 500 mg TID in an open-label extension (OLE) to Week 48. Durable response was predefined. Analyses compared durable responders (DRs) and non-durable responders (NDRs), irrespective of treatment group, at Weeks 12, 24, and 48.

Findings: At the start of the DBTP, 135 patients were randomized, 45 patients each to TE 250 mg, TE 500 mg, and placebo. After the 12-week DBTP, 48 of 135 patients were DRs (TE 250 mg, n = 20; TE 500 mg, n = 19; placebo, n = 9). Of the 115 patients who entered the OLE, 35 were DRs initially randomized to TE 250 mg (n = 18) or 500 mg (n = 17), 29 of whom maintained a durable response throughout the OLE. Of the 71 DBTP-NDRs (inclusive of patients initially randomized to placebo), 28 became OLE-DRs. There were 29 NDRs initially randomized to placebo who entered the OLE, 16 of whom became DRs when switched to TE 500 mg. DRs during the DBTP had greater symptom improvements in the DBTP; these improvements continued over the OLE. DBTP-DRs also maintained more meaningful QoL improvements in EORTC QLQ-C30 global health status, nausea and vomiting, pain, diarrhea, and EORTC QLQ-GINET21 gastrointestinal symptoms over the DBTP and OLE periods than DBTP-NDRs.

Implications: These results suggest that sustained improvements in BM frequency in patients with CS may have multifaceted, long-term effects on a patient's well-being. identifiers: NCT01677910.

Keywords: carcinoid syndrome; health-related quality of life; neuroendocrine tumors; rare diseases.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malignant Carcinoid Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / drug therapy*
  • Phenylalanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Phenylalanine / therapeutic use
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use*
  • Quality of Life
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tryptophan Hydroxylase / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Pyrimidines
  • Phenylalanine
  • telotristat ethyl
  • Tryptophan Hydroxylase

Associated data