Background: Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are believed to be relatively rare and to follow a generally indolent course. However, liver metastases are common in NET patients and the outcome of NET liver metastasis is poor. In Western countries, streptozocin (STZ) has been established as a first-line anticancer drug for unresectable NET; however, STZ cannot be used in daily practice in Japan. The aim of the present study was to determine the status of STZ usage in Japan and to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of STZ chemotherapy in Japanese NET patients. Methods: A retrospective multi-center survey was conducted. Five institutions with experience performing STZ chemotherapy participated in the study. The patient demographics, tumor characteristics, context of STZ chemotherapy, and patient outcome were collected and assessed. Results: Fifty-four patients were enrolled. The main recipients of STZ chemotherapy were middle-aged patients with pancreatic NET and unresectable liver metastases. The predominant regimen was the weekly/bi-weekly intravenous administration of STZ combined with other oral anticancer agents. STZ monotherapy was used in one-fourth of the patients. The median progression-free and overall survival periods were 11.8 and 38.7 months, respectively, and sustained stable disease was obtained in some selected patients. The adverse events profile was mild and tolerable. Conclusions: Our survey showed the clinical benefit and safety of STZ therapy for Japanese patients with unresectable NET. Therefore, we recommend that STZ, which is the only cytotoxic agent available against NET, should be used in daily practice in Japan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes