Does sunitinib have a patient-specific dose without diminishing its antitumor effect on advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms?

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019 Aug;145(8):2097-2104. doi: 10.1007/s00432-019-02947-7. Epub 2019 May 30.


Purpose: Because it is unknown whether adjusting the dose of sunitinib can benefit patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (Pan-NENs), this retrospective study examined maximum tumor shrinkage rates and prognoses in patients with and without low doses of sunitinib administration.

Methods: Eighty-seven patients with metastatic and unresectable neoplasms, treated with sunitinib for > 1 month, were divided into a low-dose (LD) or high-dose (HD) group. The tumor response rates were investigated over time using computed tomography according to the response evaluation criteria in solid tumors criteria.

Results: The LD and HD groups included 42 and 45 patients, respectively. There were no differences in baseline characteristics (tumor size, Ki-67 index, mitosis, and differentiation) between the two groups. Progressive disease (PD), stable disease (SD), and partial response (PR) were observed in 16.7, 54.8, and 28.6% of patients in the LD group, respectively, and in 13.3, 60, and 26.7% of patients in the HD group, respectively. There were no differences in tumor shrinkage rates between the two groups (p = 0.87). The 3-year progression-free survival rates for the LD and HD groups were 2.4% and 2.3%, respectively (p = 0.67), and the 3-year overall survival rates were 57.9% and 70.5%, respectively (p = 0.76). The occurrence of adverse events was similar between the two groups (61.9% vs. 60.0%, p > 0.95).

Conclusions: Dose reduction of sunitinib did not alter tumor shrinkage rates or prognoses for patients with advanced Pan-NENs.

Keywords: Liver metastasis; Low dose; Neuroendocrine tumor; Sunitinib; Unresectable.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disease Progression
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / drug therapy*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Precision Medicine*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sunitinib / administration & dosage*
  • Sunitinib / adverse effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Sunitinib