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M Heetfeld, C N Chougnet, I H Olsen, A Rinke, I Borbath, G Crespo, J Barriuso, M Pavel, D O'Toole, T Walter, and other Knowledge Network members

Data on gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (NEN) G3 (well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NET G3) and neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC)) are limited. We retrospectively study patients with NET G3 and NEC from eight European centers. Data examined included clinical and pathological characteristics at diagnosis, therapies and outcomes. Two hundred and four patients were analyzed (37 NET G3 and 167 NEC). Median age was 64 (21–89) years. Tumor origin included pancreas (32%) and colon-rectum (27%). The primary tumor was resected in 82 (40%) patients. Metastatic disease was evident at diagnosis in 88% (liver metastases: 67%). Median Ki-67 index was 70% (30% in NET G3 and 80% in NEC; P<0.001). Median overall survival (OS) for all patients was 23 (95% CI: 18–28) months and significantly higher in NET G3 (99 vs 17 months in NEC; HR=8.3; P<0.001). Platinum-etoposide first line chemotherapy was administered in 113 (68%) NEC and 12 (32%) NET G3 patients. Disease control rate and progression free survival (PFS) were significantly higher in NEC compared to NET G3 (P<0.05), whereas OS was significantly longer in NET G3 (P=0.003). Second- and third-line therapies (mainly FOLFIRI and FOLFOX) were given in 79 and 39 of NEC patients; median PFS and OS were 3.0 and 7.6 months respectively after second-line and 2.5 and 6.2 months after third-line chemotherapy. In conclusion, NET G3 and NEC are characterized by significant differences in Ki-67 index and outcomes. While platinum-based chemotherapy is effective in NEC, it seems to have limited value in NET G3.

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J Hadoux, D Malka, D Planchard, J Y Scoazec, C Caramella, J Guigay, V Boige, S Leboulleux, P Burtin, A Berdelou, Y Loriot, P Duvillard, C N Chougnet, D Déandréis, M Schlumberger, I Borget, M Ducreux, and E Baudin

There is no standard for second-line chemotherapy in poorly differentiated grade 3 neuroendocrine carcinoma (G3-NEC) patients. We analyzed the antitumor efficacy of 5-fluorouracil and oxaliplatin (FOLFOX) chemotherapy in this population. A single-center retrospective analysis of consecutive G3-NEC patients treated with FOLFOX chemotherapy after failure of a cisplatinum-based regimen between December 2003 and June 2012 was performed. Progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), response rate, and safety were assessed according to RECIST 1.1 and NCI.CTC v4 criteria. Twenty consecutive patients were included (seven males and 13 females; median age 55; range 23–87 years) with a performance status of 0–1 in 75% of them. Primary location was gastroenteropancreatic in 12, thoracic in four, other in two, and unknown in two patients. There were 12 (65%) large-cell and 7 (30%) small-cell G3-NEC tumors, and 1 (5%) unknown. All patients had distant metastases. Twelve (60%) patients received FOLFOX as second-line treatment and 8 (40%) as third-line treatment or later and the median number of administered cycles was 6 (range 3–14). The median follow-up was 19 months. Median PFS was 4.5 months. Among the 17 evaluable patients, five partial responses (29%), six stable diseases (35%), and six progressive diseases (35%) were observed. Median OS was 9.9 months. Main Grade 3–4 toxicities were neutropenia (35%), thrombopenia (20%), nausea/vomiting (10%), anemia (10%), and elevated liver transaminases (10%). Our results indicate that the FOLFOX regimen could be considered as a second-line option in poorly differentiated G3-NEC patients after cisplatinum-based first-line treatment but warrant further confirmation in future larger prospective studies.