Current Medical Treatment of Endocrine Pancreatic Tumors and Future Aspects

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: We treated 16 patients with somatostatin analogs combined with ?-interferon and achieved a biochemical and/or radiological response in 56% (median duration 22 months). We consider this treatment a good alternative for patients who fail during chemotherapy or who do not want to/cannot receive cytotoxic drugs.Thirty-six patients with neuroendocrine tumors were treated with cisplatin combined with etoposide. Of 14 patients with evaluable EPTs, 50% responded radiologically and/or biochemically (median duration 9 months). We consider this treatment useful as first-line medical treatment in aggressive EPTs or in patients failing prior chemotherapy.Twenty-eight tumor tissues from EPTs were examined with immunohistochemistry regarding expression of somatostatin receptors (ssts) 1 to 5 on tumor cells and in intratumoral vessels. We found that sst2 and sst4 were highly expressed on tumor cells and in vessels. However, sst3 and sst5 were lacking in half of the tumor tissues and in most of the vessels. Because of the variability in sst expression, we recommend analysis of each individual’s receptor expression before starting treatment.Endocrine pancreatic tumors (EPTs) are rare with an incidence of 4 per million inhabitants. In the majority of cases they grow slowly, but there are exceptions with very rapidly progressing malignant carcinomas. First-line medical treatment is streptozotocin combined with 5-fluorouracil.We examined 38 tumor samples regarding expression of tyrosine kinase receptors platelet-derived growth factor receptors (PDGFRs), c-kit and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). We found that the receptors were expressed in more than half of the tumor tissues. Further studies will reveal if tyrosin kinase antagonists can be part of the future treatment arsenal.