Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleContributedpeer-review



Malignant neuroendocrine tumours are less sensitive to chemotherapy than other epithelial malignancies. If chemotherapy is considered, tumours of pancreatic origin have a higher sensitivity than tumours from the gastrointestinal tract ('carcinoids'). Chemotherapy with streptozocin combinations and with dacarbazine should be considered in patients with progressive malignant neuroendocrine tumours of the pancreas. A favourable response to chemotherapy can be expected in up to 60% of patients receiving a combination of streptozocin plus doxorubicin, and in up to 40% of patients receiving dacarbazine. A survival benefit has been shown for streptozocin combinations. Treatment regimens are effective in functioning and non-functioning tumours. The response to treatment cannot be predicted. Poorly differentiated neuroendocrine tumours, independent of their origin, respond to a combination of etoposide plus cisplatin. Chemotherapy is, however, almost ineffective in patients with well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumours originating in the gastrointestinal tract ('carcinoids').


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-656
Number of pages8
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number4 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005

External IDs

PubMed 16183533
ORCID /0000-0002-8691-8423/work/142236158


ASJC Scopus subject areas


  • Chemotherapy, Cisplatin, Doxorubicin, Etoposide, Fluorouracil, Neuroendocrine carcinoma, Poorly differentiated tumours, Streptozocin, Well-differentiated tumours