Management of Neuroendocrine Tumors: Current and Future Therapies

Kjell E Öberg


Expert Rev Endocrinol Metab. 2011;6(1):49-62. 

In This Article

Management of NETs: Other Medical Therapies

Interferon Therapy

Interferon therapy is generally recommended as a second-line approach in patients with functioning NETs and low proliferation.[12] The effect of interferons on symptom control is similar to that of somatostatin analogues and they may have greater antiproliferative activity;[66] however, they do not act as rapidly and have a less favorable safety profile (fever, fatigue, anorexia and weight loss are commonly reported).[11] IFN-α is the most widely studied and a pooled analysis of trials investigating this agent in patients with NETs demonstrated that approximately 40% had biochemical responses (which is comparable to that observed with octreotide and lanreotide) whilst approximately 10% had objective tumor responses.[11] Although the number of trials is small and studies may be underpowered, combination of IFN-α with somatostatin analogues might have a synergistic effect.[14,67–69]


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