Medical Oncology

, 35:123 | Cite as

Improved survival with higher doses of octreotide long-acting release in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors

  • Sally C. Lau
  • Omar Abdel-Rahman
  • Winson Y. CheungEmail author
Original Paper


Gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) represent a heterogeneous group of tumors that is associated with an indolent course. Octreotide has a positive effect on disease stabilization in well-differentiated midgut NETs, but a meaningful survival analysis was not possible due to insufficient events. Higher doses of octreotide long-acting release (LAR) are often used in clinical practice for control of carcinoid symptoms and our objective was to determine if dose of octreotide correlates with survival. We reviewed all patients with advanced GEP NETs who initiated treatment with octreotide LAR between 2000 and 2013 in a large, representative Canadian province. We compared overall survival in patients who received low (< 30 mg) compared to high (≥ 30 mg) doses of octreotide. A total of 170 patients were identified. Baseline characteristics in the low- and high-dose groups were similar: median age 62/63 years, 50/58% were male, 46/48% originated from the small bowel, and 74/66% had liver metastases at diagnosis. The median time from diagnosis to treatment initiation was 5.5 and 6.0 months. Octreotide LAR was initiated with the intent of symptom management (71%), disease stabilization (23%), or biomarker control (6%). Median overall survival (OS) was better in the high-dose group, 66 months compared to 22 months (multivariate HR 0.5, p < 0.01). Age ≥ 65 (HR 1.9, p < 0.01), ECOG ≥ 2 (HR 2.7, p < 0.01), and pancreatic NETs (HR 1.7, p = 0.03) were all predictors of worse survival. Our findings suggest that octreotide may confer survival benefits in GEP NETs. Further prospective studies are warranted to validate the impact of high-dose octreotide on outcomes.


Neuroendocrine tumor Carcinoid tumor Carcinoid syndrome Somatostatin Octreotide 




Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no competing interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Specifically, the Health Research Ethics Board (HREB) approved this study before its conduct.

Informed consent

Because this study was a secondary analysis of retrospective data, there was no direct contact with any participants. Therefore, informed consent was waived by the ethics committee.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally C. Lau
    • 1
  • Omar Abdel-Rahman
    • 2
  • Winson Y. Cheung
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medical OncologyBC CancerVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Oncology, Tom Baker Cancer CentreUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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