, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 1265-1274,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 27 Dec 2012

Phase II study of sunitinib in Japanese patients with unresectable or metastatic, well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor


Background. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are rare but are frequently diagnosed at advanced stages and require systemic therapy. Patients and methods. This multicenter, open-label, phase II study evaluated sunitinib in Japanese patients with well-differentiated pancreatic NET. Patients received sunitinib 37.5 mg/day on a continuous daily dosing (CDD) schedule. The primary endpoint was clinical benefit rate (CBR; percentage of complete responses [CRs] plus partial responses [PRs] plus stable disease [SD] ≥24 weeks). Secondary endpoints included objective response rate (ORR), tumor shrinkage, progression-free survival (PFS) probability, safety, pharmacokinetics, and biomarkers. Results. Twelve patients received treatment. The CBR was 75 % (95 % confidence interval [CI], 43–94) and included 6 patients with a PR and 3 with SD. The ORR was 50 % (95 % CI, 21–79). PFS probability was 91 % (95 % CI, 54–99) at 6 months and 71 % (95 % CI, 34–90) at 12 months. Commonly reported treatment-emergent (all-causality), any-grade adverse events included diarrhea (n = 10), hand–foot syndrome and hypertension (both n = 8), fatigue and headache (both n = 7), and neutropenia (n = 6). No deaths on study were reported; one death due to disease progression occurred >28 days after end of treatment. Sunitinib on a CDD schedule resulted in sustained drug concentrations without accumulation across cycles. Tumor responses in all 12 patients did not appear to correlate with decreases in chromogranin A levels. Conclusions. Sunitinib 37.5 mg/day on a CDD schedule demonstrated antitumor activity in Japanese patients with unresectable, well-differentiated pancreatic NET. Commonly reported adverse events were consistent with the known safety profile of sunitinib.

Akira Sawaki is a Previous Aichi Cancer Center Hospital employee.
Mami Murakami is a Previous Pfizer Japan Inc. employee.