Sequence of therapy and survival in patients with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours

  • E. S. Tsang University of British Columbia
  • J.M. Loree BC Cancer
  • C. Speers BC Cancer
  • H.F. Kennecke BC Cancer, Virginia Mason Cancer Institute
Keywords: Pancreas, neuroendocrine tumours, treatment sequencing


Background Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (pnets) often present as advanced disease. The optimal sequence of therapy is unknown.

Methods Sequential patients with advanced pnets referred to BC Cancer between 2000 and 2013 who received 1 or more treatment modalities were reviewed, and treatment patterns, progression-free survival (pfs), and overall survival (os) were characterized. Systemic treatments included chemotherapy, small-molecule therapy, and peptide receptor radiotherapy.

Results In 66 cases of advanced pnets, median patient age was 61.2 years (25%–75% interquartile range: 50.8–66.2 years), and men constituted 47% of the group. First-line therapies were surgery (36%), chemotherapy (33%), and somatostatin analogues (32%). Compared with first-line systemic therapy, surgery in the first line was associated with increased pfs and os (20.6 months vs. 6.3 months and 100.3 months vs. 30.5 months respectively, p < 0.05). In 42 patients (64%) who received more than 1 line of therapy, no difference in os or pfs between second-line therapies was observed.

Conclusions Our results confirm the primary role of surgery for advanced pnets. New systemic treatments will further increase options.

Author Biographies

E. S. Tsang, University of British Columbia

Division of Medical Oncology, BC Cancer, Department of Medicine

J.M. Loree, BC Cancer

Division of Medical Oncology

C. Speers, BC Cancer

Gastrointestinal Cancers Outcomes Unit

H.F. Kennecke, BC Cancer, Virginia Mason Cancer Institute

Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Oncology

How to Cite
Tsang, E. S., Loree, J., Speers, C., & Kennecke, H. (2020). Sequence of therapy and survival in patients with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours. Current Oncology, 27(4).
Short Communication