, Volume 71, Issue 7, pp 841–852

Potential Synergies for Combined Targeted Therapy in the Treatment of Neuroendocrine Cancer

Leading Article

DOI: 10.2165/11585500-000000000-00000

Cite this article as:
Salazar, R., Reidy-Lagunes, D. & Yao, J. Drugs (2011) 71: 841. doi:10.2165/11585500-000000000-00000


Well differentiated neuroendocrine tumours (WDNET) are a diverse group of cancers that are often advanced at the time of diagnosis and generally do not respond significantly to traditional chemotherapy. A number of intriguing therapeutic targets have emerged, including somatostatin receptors, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and its receptor (IGF-1R), the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor. Functional somatostatin receptors and IGF-1R as well as dysregulated mTOR-a key pathway component for both growth factor signalling and protein synthesis — have been identified in human neuroendocrine tumour (NET) cell lines. Somatostatin analogues (SSA) and mTOR inhibitors have exhibited in vitro and in vivo antitumour activity against NET and have shown effects on the IGF-1 pathway in preclinical studies. SSA inhibit PI3K/Akt signalling upstream of mTOR, suggesting that the combination of an SSA and an mTOR inhibitor may have greater efficacy than either as single agents. Recent clinical trial experience has provided some encouraging findings and prompted the design of additional studies of this dual-targeted approach to treating advanced WDNET. Results of ongoing trials of dual-targeted therapy combinations will define future therapies for advanced WDNET.

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© Adis Data Information BV 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.L'Hospitalet-BarcelonaInstitut Catalá D'OncologiaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of MedicineMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer MedicineThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA