Sunitinib Malate for the Treatment of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors

SUMMARY: Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors account for approximately 5% of all pancreatic tumors and in general tend to be indolent tumors. In a randomized multicenter phase III trial, 171 patients with advanced, well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, whose tumors had progressed in the prior 12 months were randomized to receive either Sunitinib (SUTENT®), a multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor, at a dose of 37.5 mg qd or placebo. Following an interim analysis, this study was closed earlier than planned based on the superiority of SUTENT® over placebo. The median progression free survival was longer for those who received SUTENT® than those in the placebo group (11.4 versus 5.5 months). More patients in the SUTENT® group were alive at 6 months compared to the placebo group (92.6% versus 85.2%). N Engl J Med 2011; 364:501-513