Clinical Medicine Reviews in Oncology

Sunitinib Efficacy in Advanced Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors

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Clinical Medicine Reviews in Oncology 2011:3

Short Review

Published on 17 May 2011

DOI: 10.4137/CMRO.S7198

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Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) are relatively rare and generally considered to follow an indolent course. However poorly differentiated or metastatic PNETs can also behave in an aggressive manner with a 5-year survival as low as 30% in non-functioning PNETs. Many therapeutic agents have been tested in the treatment of NET including Interferon alfa, streptozocin or temozolomide-based combination chemotherapy with an objective response of 10%–30%. Moreover these agents are less effective in patients with advanced carcinoid tumors and their prolonged use is often associated with added toxicity. A number of other signaling pathways have also been implicated in neuroendocrine tumors, which also express platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), PDGF receptor (PDGFR), insulin-like growth factor-1, insulin-like growth factor receptor, basic fibroblast growth factor, transforming growth factor, epidermal growth factor receptor, and stem-cell factor receptor.

Sunitinib malate (SUTENT®; Pfizer Oncology) is a small molecule kinase inhibitor with activity against a number of tyrosine kinase receptors, including VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, VEGFR-3, PDGFR-, PDGFR-, stem-cell factor receptor, glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor receptor and FMS-like tyrosine kinase-3.

This review will present data regarding sunitinib progress in PNET, demonstrating its effectiveness and the emerging hope it may provide for such a disease with limited treatment options.



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