Learning experiences with sunitinib continuous daily dosing in patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours
Molecular strategies to improve outcomes for patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (nets) have focused on targeting vascular endothelial growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor, and mtor (the mammalian target of rapamycin). This approach has led to the regulatory approval of two molecularly targeted agents for advanced pancreatic nets: sunitinib, a multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor, and everolimus, an mtor inhibitor.
Initial experience with sunitinib in advanced pancreatic net was gained from the phase iii registration trial, which used a continuous daily dosing (cdd) schedule instead of daily drug administration for 4 consecutive weeks every 6 weeks (schedule 4/2), the approved schedule for advanced renal cell carcinoma (rcc) and gastrointestinal stromal tumour (gist). Clinical experience gained with schedule 4/2 in rcc and gist shows that, using a therapy management approach, patients can start and be maintained on the recommended dose and schedule, thus optimizing treatment outcomes. Here, we discuss challenges that can potentially be faced by physicians who use sunitinib on the cdd schedule, and we use clinical data and real-life clinical experience to present therapy management approaches that support cdd in advanced pancreatic net.