Medical Oncology

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 35–42 | Cite as

Treatment of malignant endocrine pancreatic tumors with a combination of α-interferon and somatostatin analogs

  • M.-L. FjällskogEmail author
  • A. Sundin
  • J.-E. Westlin
  • K. Öberg
  • E. T. Janson
  • B. Eriksson
Original Article


Somatostatin analogs and α-interferon induce good responses as single drugs in the treatment of endocrine pancreatic tumors. We examined the efficacy and tolerability of the combination of α-interferon and somatostatin analogs in 16 patients with metastatic endocrine pancreatic tumors. All patients except one had received prior treatment and were in a progressive state. Doses of α-interferon and somatostatin analogs were individually titrated. The α-interferon doses varied between 9 and 25 million units per week and were combined with 100–1500 µg of octreotide or 6000 µg of lanreotide daily. Radiological response was seen in 3 of 16 (19%) patients (median duration 23 mo). Biochemical response was seen in 10 of 16 (62.5%) patients (median duration 22 mo). All three patients previously progressing on both α-interferon and somatostatin analog as single drugs achieved a stabilization of the disease when treated with the combination (median duration 10 mo). Seven of eight (88%) patients previously progressing on α-interferon treatment benefited from the combination with biochemical partial response or stabilization. All six patients previously progressing during somatostatin analog treatment achieved biochemical partial response or stabilization. More than 80% of patients who progressed during previous treatment with either drug benefited from the combined treatment, which also was well tolerated. Thus, a combination of α-interferon and somatostatin analogs may be considered for patients previously progressing on treatment with α-interferon or somatostatin analogs. However, in this study, the value of sequential treatment has not been evaluated.

Key Words

α-Interferon biotherapy combination treatment endocrine pancreatic tumors somatostatin analogs 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • M.-L. Fjällskog
    • 3
    Email author
  • A. Sundin
    • 1
  • J.-E. Westlin
    • 2
  • K. Öberg
    • 3
  • E. T. Janson
    • 3
  • B. Eriksson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Oncology, Radiology and Clinical ImmunologyUniversity HospitalUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Department of OncologyMälar HospitalEskilstunaSweden
  3. 3.Department of Medical SciencesUniversity HospitalUppsalaSweden

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