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Marc Diedisheim, Solène Dermine, Anne Jouinot, Amandine Septier, Sébastien Gaujoux, Bertrand Dousset, Guillaume Cadiot, Etienne Larger, Jerome Bertherat, Raphael Scharfmann, Benoit Terris, Romain Coriat, and Guillaume Assié

Duodenopancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (DPNETs) aggressiveness is heterogeneous. Tumor grade and extension are commonly used for prognostic determination. Yet, grade classes are empirically defined, with regular up-dates changing the definition of classes. Genomic screening may provide more objective classes, and reflect tumor biology. The aim of this study was to provide a transcriptome classification of DPNETs. We included 66 DPNETs, covering the entire clinical spectrum of the disease in terms of secretion, grade, and stage. Three distinct molecular groups were identified, associated with distinct outcome (log-rank p<0.01): (i) better-outcome DPNETs with pancreatic beta-cell signature. This group was mainly composed of well-differentiated, grade 1 insulinomas; (ii) poor-outcome DPNETs with pancreatic alpha-cell and hepatic signature. This group included all neuroendocrine carcinomas and grade 3 DPNETs, but also some grade 1 and grade 2 DPNETs; and (iii) intermediate-outcome DPNETs with pancreatic exocrine and progenitor signature. This group included grade 1 and grade 2 DPNETs, with some insulinomas. Fibrinogen gene FGA expression was one of the top most expressed liver gene. FGA expression was associated with disease-free survival (HR=1.13, p=0.005), and could be validated on two independent cohorts. This original pathophysiologic insight provides new prognostic classification perspectives.

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Louis de Mestier, Clarisse Dromain, Gaspard d'Assignies, Jean-Yves Scoazec, Nathalie Lassau, Rachida Lebtahi, Hedia Brixi, Emmanuel Mitry, Rosine Guimbaud, Frédéric Courbon, Michèle d'Herbomez, and Guillaume Cadiot

Well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are a group of heterogeneous rare tumors. They are often slow-growing and patients can have very long survival, even at the metastatic stage. The evaluation of tumor progression and therapeutic responses is currently based on Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors v1.1 (RECIST) criteria. As for other malignancies, RECIST criteria are being reexamined for NETs in the era of targeted therapies because tumor response to targeted therapies is rarely associated with shrinkage, as opposed to prolonged progression-free survival. Therefore, size-based criteria no longer seem to be suitable to the assessment of NET progression and therapeutic responses, especially considering targeted therapies. New imaging criteria, combining morphological and functional techniques, have proven relevant for other malignancies treated with targeted therapies. To date, such studies have rarely been conducted on NETs. Moreover, optimizing the management of NET patients also requires considering clinical, biological, and pathological aspects of tumor evolution. Our objectives herein were to comprehensively review current knowledge on the assessment of tumor progression and early prediction of therapeutic responses and to broaden the outlook on well-differentiated NETs, in the era of targeted therapies.

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Laetitia Dahan, Frank Bonnetain, Philippe Rougier, Jean-Luc Raoul, Eric Gamelin, Pierre-Luc Etienne, Guillaume Cadiot, Emmanuel Mitry, Denis Smith, Frédérique Cvitkovic, Bruno Coudert, Floriane Ricard, Laurent Bedenne, Jean-François Seitz, and for the Fédération Francophone de Cancérologie Digestive (FFCD) and the Digestive Tumors Group of the Fédération Nationale des Centres de Lutte Contre le Cancer (FNCLCC)

The aim of this randomized multicenter phase III trial was to compare chemotherapy and interferon (IFN) in patients with metastatic carcinoid tumors. Patients with documented progressive, unresectable, metastatic carcinoid tumors were randomized between 5-fluorouracil plus streptozotocin (day 1–5) and recombinant IFN-α-2a (3 MU×3 per week). Primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS). From February 1998 to June 2004, 64 patients were included. The two arms were well matched for median age, sex ratio, PS 0–1, previous chemotherapy, surgery, or radiotherapy. The median PFS for chemotherapy was 5.5 months versus 14.1 for IFN (hazard ratio=0.75 (0.41–1.36)). Overall survival (OS), tolerance, and effects on carcinoid symptoms were not significantly different. Despite a trend in favor of IFN, there was no difference in PFS and OS in advanced metastatic carcinoid tumors and therapeutic effect of both treatments was mild.

Open access

Martyn E Caplin, Marianne Pavel, Jarosław B Ćwikła, Alexandria T Phan, Markus Raderer, Eva Sedláčková, Guillaume Cadiot, Edward M Wolin, Jaume Capdevila, Lucy Wall, Guido Rindi, Alison Langley, Séverine Martinez, Edda Gomez-Panzani, Philippe Ruszniewski, and on behalf of the CLARINET Investigators

In the CLARINET study, lanreotide Autogel (depot in USA) significantly prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with metastatic pancreatic/intestinal neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). We report long-term safety and additional efficacy data from the open-label extension (OLE). Patients with metastatic grade 1/2 (Ki-67 ≤10%) non-functioning NET and documented baseline tumour-progression status received lanreotide Autogel 120 mg (n=101) or placebo (n=103) for 96 weeks or until death/progressive disease (PD) in CLARINET study. Patients with stable disease (SD) at core study end (lanreotide/placebo) or PD (placebo only) continued or switched to lanreotide in the OLE. In total, 88 patients (previously: lanreotide, n=41; placebo, n=47) participated: 38% had pancreatic, 39% midgut and 23% other/unknown primary tumours. Patients continuing lanreotide reported fewer adverse events (AEs) (all and treatment-related) during OLE than core study. Placebo-to-lanreotide switch patients reported similar AE rates in OLE and core studies, except more diarrhoea was considered treatment-related in OLE (overall diarrhoea unchanged). Median lanreotide PFS (core study randomisation to PD in core/OLE; n=101) was 32.8 months (95% CI: 30.9, 68.0). A sensitivity analysis, addressing potential selection bias by assuming that patients with SD on lanreotide in the core study and not entering the OLE (n=13) had PD 24 weeks after last core assessment, found median PFS remaining consistent: 30.8 months (95% CI: 30.0, 31.3). Median time to further PD after placebo-to-lanreotide switch (n=32) was 14.0 months (10.1; not reached). This OLE study suggests long-term treatment with lanreotide Autogel 120 mg maintained favourable safety/tolerability. CLARINET OLE data also provide new evidence of lanreotide anti-tumour benefits in indolent and progressive pancreatic/intestinal NETs.

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Ophélie De Rycke, Thomas Walter, Marine Perrier, Olivia Hentic, Catherine Lombard-Bohas, Romain Coriat, Guillaume Cadiot, Anne Couvelard, Philippe Ruszniewski, Jérôme Cros, and Louis de Mestier

A rechallenge is common after the initial efficacy of alkylating-based chemotherapy (ALK) in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNET). High MGMT expression seems associated with a lower response to ALK. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of ALK rechallenge in PanNET, and to assess the evolution of MGMT expression under ALK. All consecutive patients with advanced PanNETs who received initial ALK (achieving tumor control) followed by a pause of > 3 months, then an ALK rechallenge (ALK2) upon progression were retrospectively studied (cohort A). The primary endpoint was progression-free survival under ALK2 (PFS2). The MGMT expression was retrospectively assessed by immunohistochemistry (H-score) in consecutive PanNET surgically resected following ALK (cohort B). We found that Cohort A included 62 patients (median Ki67 8%), for whom ALK1 followed by a pause achieved an objective response rate of 55% and a PFS1 of 23.7 months (95% IC, 19.8–27.6). ALK2 achieved no objective response and stability in 62% of patients. The median PFS2 was 9.2 months (IC 95% 7.1–11.3). At multivariable analysis, a hormonal syndrome (P = 0.032) and a pause longer than 12 months (P = 0.041) were associated with a longer PFS2. In cohort B (17 patients), the median MGMT H-score increased from 45 (IQR 18–105) before ALK to 100 (IQR 56–180) after ALK (P = 0.003). We conclude that after the initial efficacy of ALK treatment, a pause followed by ALK rechallenge might be appropriate to prolong tumor control, improve quality of life and limit long-term adverse events. Increased MGMT expression under ALK might explain the low efficacy of ALK rechallenge.

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Louis de Mestier, Angela Lamarca, Jorge Hernando, Wouter Zandee, Teresa Alonso-Gordoa, Marine Perrier, Annemieke M E Walenkamp, Bipasha Chakrabarty, Stefania Landolfi, Marie-Louise F. Van Velthuysen, Gursah Kats-Ugurlu, Alejandra Carminoa, Maxime Ronot, Prakash Manoharan, Alejandro Garcia-Alvarez, Tessa Brabander, María Isabel García Gómez-Muriel, Guillaume Cadiot, Anne Couvelard, Jaume Capdevilla, Marianne E Pavel, and Jerome Cros

There is no standardized treatment for grade 3 neuroendocrine tumors (G3 NETs). We aimed to describe the treatments received in patients with advanced G3 NETs and compare their efficacy. Patients with advanced digestive G3 NETs treated between 2010 and 2018 in seven expert centers were retrospectively studied. Pathological samples were centrally reviewed, and radiological data were locally reviewed. We analyzed RECIST-defined objective response (OR), tumor growth rate (TGR) and progression-free survival (PFS) obtained with first- (L1) or second-line (L2) treatments. We included 74 patients with advanced G3 NETs, mostly from duodenal or pancreatic origin (71.6%), with median Ki-67 of 30%. The 126 treatments (L1=74; L2=52) included alkylating-based (n=32), etoposide-platinum (n=22) or adenocarcinoma-like chemotherapy (n=20), somatostatin analogs (n=21), targeted therapies (n=22) and liver-directed therapies (n=7). Alkylating-based chemotherapy achieved the highest OR rate (37.9%) compared to other treatments (multivariable OR 4.22, 95% CI [1.5-12.2]; p=0.008). Adenocarcinoma-like and alkylating-based chemotherapies showed the highest reductions in 3-month TGR (p<0.001 and p=0.008, respectively). The longest median PFS were obtained with adenocarcinoma-like chemotherapy (16.5 months [9.0-24.0]) and targeted therapies (12.0 months [8.2-15.8]), while the shortest PFS were observed with somatostatin analogues (6.2 months [3.8-8.5]) and etoposide-platinum chemotherapy (7.2 months [5.2-9.1]). Etoposide-platinum CT achieved shorter PFS than adenocarcinoma-like (multivariable HR 3.69 [1.61-8.44], p=0.002) and alkylating-based chemotherapies (multivariable HR 1.95 [1.01-3.78], p=0.049). Overall, adenocarcinoma-like and alkylating-based chemotherapies may be the most effective treatments for patients with advanced G3 NETs regarding OR and PFS. Etoposide-platinum chemotherapy has poor efficacy in this setting.