Home > Journals > Minerva Endocrinologica > Past Issues > Minerva Endocrinologica 2003 December;28(4) > Minerva Endocrinologica 2003 December;28(4):259-96



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Minerva Endocrinologica 2003 December;28(4):259-96


language: Italian

New perspectives in diagnosis and therapy of endocrine gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) tumors with somatostatin analogues

Rubello D., Rufini V., De Carlo E., Martini C., Calcagni M. L., Sicolo N., Troncone L., Casara D.


In the last decade important progresses have been obtained in the diagnosis and therapy of endocrine gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) tumors, mainly derived from the somatostatin receptors characterization and the introduction of long acting somatostatin analogues. Receptorial scintigraphy with radio-labeled analogues (Octreoscan®) is the first choice investigation for staging and follow-up of endocrine GEP tumors, thanks to the high sensitivity in revealing the primary tumor and metastases, and for its capability to reveal lesions that are not identified by other imaging methods. Moreover, somatostatin analogues uptake by tumors allow us to use radiopharmaceutical compounds for advanced disease treatment. Between the radio-labeled drugs until now studied, interesting results have been obtained by DOTA-lanreotide (MAURITIUS), DOTA0 Tyr3-octreotide (DOTATOC) and DOTA0 Tyr3-octreotate, bound to b-emitting radio-isotope suitable for therapeutic use. In the field of the pharmacological therapy of GEP tumors, the clinical trials show that somatostatin analogues reduce the symptoms related to functionally active tumors and stabilize or slow tumor growth improving the patient quality of life. Although somatostatin analogues alone could not be able to cure GEP tumors, their early utilization in association with surgical debulking of primary tumor and metastases, embolization or chemoembolization, and interferon, chemotherapy and radiometabolic therapy (mainly directed to the destruction of micrometastases), increases the possibility of a radical therapeutic intervention. The continuous evolution of pharmacological research provides always new analogues (octreotide LAR, lanreotide, vapreotide, BIM-23244, BN 81644, PTR-3173, BIM-23A387, SOM-230, etc.) with different pharmacokinetic and receptorial properties and acting with more effectiveness in the different individual clinical situations. In this context there have been recently introduced also the ''chimeric'' analogues. On the other hand, the widespread utilization of molecular biology and immunohistochemical methods can allow, in perspective, to better define the receptorial pattern of individual endocrine tumors, after their surgical removal. The necessity to integrate endocrinological, nuclear medicine, surgical, oncologic and laboratory competencies behaves a multidisciplinary approach based on the utilization of diagnostic-therapeutic protocols supplying comparable results. It does not appear unjustified to expect, in the future, a scenery of more ''individual'' and more effective therapies for patients affected by GEP tumours.

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