Somatostatin is an important regulator of endocrine and exocrine secretion, affecting the release of many hormones. The effects of somatostatin are mediated through its interaction with one of five somatostatin receptors. Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) express multiple somatostatin receptors, making them excellent potential therapeutic targets. Many trials have shown that treatment with somatostatin analogs is associated with disease stabilization and prolonged survival. More recently, somatostatin analogs have been shown to have antiproliferative effects, thus broadening the scope of their uses. In this review, we update the current data on the treatment of GEP-NETs with somatostatin analogs, with particular emphasis on the results of the PROMID study. In addition, we discuss the current state of knowledge of novel therapies against GEP-NETs, including the use of somatostatin analogs with broader receptor binding profiles, chimeric somatostatin-dopamine molecules, combinations of somatostatin analogs with other active chemotherapy agents, and peptide receptor-targeted radionuclide therapy.

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Cancer and Metastasis Reviews
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Culler, M., Öberg, K., Arnold, R., Krenning, E., Sevilla Garcia, I., & Díaz, J. Á. (2011). Somatostatin analogs for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors. Cancer and Metastasis Reviews, 30(SUPPL. 1). doi:10.1007/s10555-011-9293-0