In a randomized, double-blind, Phase III study, we compared pasireotide long-acting release (pasireotide LAR) with octreotide long-acting repeatable (octreotide LAR) in managing carcinoid symptoms refractory to first-generation somatostatin analogues. Adults with carcinoid tumors of the digestive tract were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive pasireotide LAR (60 mg) or octreotide LAR (40 mg) every 28 days. Primary outcome was symptom control based on frequency of bowel movements and flushing episodes. Objective tumor response was a secondary outcome. Progression-free survival (PFS) was calculated in a post hoc analysis. Adverse events were recorded. At the time of a planned interim analysis, the data monitoring committee recommended halting the study because of a low predictive probability of showing superiority of pasireotide over octreotide for symptom control (n=43 pasireotide LAR, 20.9%; n=45 octreotide LAR, 26.7%; odds ratio, 0.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.27-1.97; P=0.53). Tumor control rate at month 6 was 62.7% with pasireotide and 46.2% with octreotide (odds ratio, 1.96; 95% CI, 0.89-4.32; P=0.09). Median (95% CI) PFS was 11.8 months (11.0 - not reached) with pasireotide versus 6.8 months (5.6 - not reached) with octreotide (hazard ratio, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.20-0.98; P=0.045). The most frequent drug-related adverse events (pasireotide vs octreotide) included hyperglycemia (28.3% vs 5.3%), fatigue (11.3% vs 3.5%), and nausea (9.4% vs 0%). We conclude that, among patients with carcinoid symptoms refractory to available somatostatin analogues, similar proportions of patients receiving pasireotide LAR or octreotide LAR achieved symptom control at month 6. Pasireotide LAR showed a trend toward higher tumor control rate at month 6, although it was statistically not significant, and was associated with a longer PFS than octreotide LAR.

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Published in Drug Design, Development and Therapy, v. 9, p. 5075-5086.

© 2015 Wolin et al.

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This study was sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. The study was designed by the academic investigators and by representatives of the sponsor. Data were collected with the use of the sponsor’s data management systems and were analyzed by the sponsor’s statistical team complying with the study protocol and statistical analysis plan. Writing assistance funded by the sponsor was provided.

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