The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of lanreotide autogel given to metastatic well-differentiated (WD) neuroendocrine tumors (NET) patients observed in our Institute between 2005 and 2008. Patients with metastatic NET referred to our tertiary referral center were given lanreotide autogel 120 mg/month by deep sc injection for a period of at least 24 months. The efficacy was evaluated by the relief of disease symptoms, behavior of tumor markers and response rate in terms of time to tumor progression. Safety and tolerability were evaluated by assessing the onset of adverse events and treatment feasibility. Twenty-three patients (13 males), median age 62 yr (range 32-87) were considered for the study. All patients were affected by WD metastatic NET and had tumor progression in the last 6 months before the enrolment in the study. Median duration of response was 28 months (range 6-50 months). Fourteen patients (60.9%) showed flushing and diarrhea which improved by 85.7% and 55.6%, respectively, bronchoconstrinction and abdominal pain also ameliorated. A complete, partial or no-changed response in the tumor markers behavior was observed, respectively, in 42.9%, 22.9%, and 17.1% of cases. According to RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors) criteria (version 1.1), there were 2 partial regression (8.7%) and 15 stable disease (65.3%); 6 patients (26.0%) progressed. No patient complained from any severe adverse reaction. The results of our study suggest that lanreotide autogel is effective in the symptoms, biochemical markers, and tumor progression control of WD metastatic NET and confirm that the treatment is well tolerated.
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