Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: Does Chemotherapy Work?

  • Mohamedtaki Abdulaziz Tejani Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of Rochester. Rochester, NY, USA
  • Muhammad Wasif Saif Section of GI Cancers and Experimental Therapeutics, Tufts University School of Medicine. Boston, MA, USA
Keywords: capecitabine, Neuroendocrine Tumors, temozolomide


Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) are rare well-differentiated neoplasms which can be functional or non-functional. They tend to have a worse prognosis than their counterpart carcinoid tumors. Current systemic treatment options for advanced, unresectable disease include somatostatin analogs, everolimus and sunitinib. Low response rates and toxicity profiles have, thus far, limited the widespread use of cytotoxic chemotherapy in this setting. In this update, we review three abstracts from the 2014 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium that present outcomes of the use of combination capecitabine and temozolomide in patients with advanced pNET. We summarize their results and discuss the role of this regimen in treatment algorithms for metastatic pNET.

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Author Biography

Mohamedtaki Abdulaziz Tejani, Division of Hematology and Oncology, University of Rochester. Rochester, NY, USA
Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology/Oncology


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Fine RL, Gulati AP, Tsushima D, et al. Prospective Phase II study of capecitabine and temozolamide for progressive, moderately and well-differentiated metastatic neuroendocrine tumors. J Clin Oncol 2014; 32: abstract 179

Spada F, Fumagalli C, Antonuzzo L, et al. Capecitabine and temozolamide in patients with advanced neuroendocrine neoplasms: An Italian multicenter retrospective analysis. J Clin Oncol 2014; 32: abstract 281.

Peixoto RD, Noonan K, Kennecke HF, et al. Outcomes of patients treated with capecitabine and temozolamide for advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) and non-pNETs.J Clin Oncol 2014; 32: abstract 343.

Saif MW, Kaley K, Brennan M, Garcon MC, Rodriguez G, Rodriguez T. A retrospective study of capecitabine/temozolamide (CAPTEM) regimen in the treatment of metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors after failing previous therapy. JOP. J Pancreas (Online) 2013; 14:498-501.

U.S. National Institutes of Health. Temozolomide with or without capecitabine in treating patients with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. (NCT 01824875). Accessed January 28, 2014

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How to Cite
TejaniM., & SaifM. (2014). Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: Does Chemotherapy Work?. JOP. Journal of the Pancreas, 15(2), 132-134.
Highlights from the “2014 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium”. San Francisco, CA, USA. January 16-18, 2014