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Expert Discusses Progress in Neuroendocrine Tumors

Angelica Welch
Published: Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Jonathan Strosberg, MD

Jonathan Strosberg, MD

Treatment advances for patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are bringing hope to a therapeutic landscape that has seen little activity until recent years, says Jonathan Strosberg, MD.

, Strosberg, medical oncologist, Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology, section head, Neuroendocrine Division, chair, Gastrointestinal Department Research Program, Moffitt Cancer Center, discussed recent developments and emerging agents in the field of NETs.

OncLive: What does the current treatment landscape for NETs look like?

Strosberg: There have been substantial changes over the last decade—we have actually had 9 phase III clinical trials in the NET field, 7 of which have met their primary endpoint. This is against a backdrop of really no phase II trials until the 2000s. So, it has been an exciting decade to treat NETs.

We have been talking about trial results that have been reported in the last several years; these include the NETTER-1 study, which randomized patients to receive Lutathera with octreotide in patients with progressive midgut NETs. There is also the TELESTAR trial, which randomized patients with diarrhea related to carcinoid syndrome to receive telotristat (Xermelo) versus placebo and showed a significant improvement in diarrhea as well as reduction in urine 5-HIAA. Then there are the RADIANT trials, which prove the role of everolimus (Afinitor) in both pancreatic and non-pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. 

Are there any significant ongoing trials?

As far as currently accruing clinical trials, I think there are several that are interesting. One is ECOG 2211, which is looking at temozolomide plus capecitabine versus temozolomide monotherapy in patients with progressive pancreatic NETs. It is a very exciting trial because there have been a lot of small retrospective studies, a few prospective studies looking at temozolomide-based combinations, but very little in terms of robust prospective clinical trials. This is going to be very important to help figure out if combinations are better than monotherapy.
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