Ten consecutive patients with metastatic gastrinoma that increased in size over time were studied prospectively during treatment with monthly cycles of streptozotocin (3 g/m2), 5-fluorouracil (1.2 g/m2), and adriamycin (40 mg/m2) to determine the response rate and time-courses of changes during chemotherapy and to assess various methods of evaluating the effect of chemotherapy. Forty percent of patients demonstrated an initial objective response (greater than or equal to 25% decrease in tumor size with no new lesions) and 60% failed chemotherapy (greater than or equal to 25% increase in tumor size or appearance of new lesions). The mean dose of streptozotocin was 27 g/m2 with objective responses occurring at 3.7 +/- 0.7 mo and failures at 4.5 +/- 0.7 mo. Responses lasted 9.7 +/- 2.8 cycles and no complete responses occurred. Survival was not significantly different in responders versus nonresponders (26 +/- 11 vs. 15 +/- 4.8 mo, p greater than 0.1). Changes in serum gastrin concentration, basal acid output, or sensitivity to a given dose of histamine H2-receptor antagonist did not reflect changes in tumor size. Computed tomography and angiography were the best methods to assess changes in tumor size during chemotherapy, whereas liver-spleen scan and ultrasound were relatively insensitive. All patients developed side effects with chemotherapy: 100% had vomiting, 80% alopecia, 40% transient proteinuria, and 20% leukopenia. The present results indicate that chemotherapy with streptozotocin, 5-fluorouracil, and adriamycin is much less effective in patients with extensive metastatic gastrinoma than previously reported. Computed tomography scanning is the method of choice to assess changes in tumor size. Changes in serum gastrin concentration, acid secretion, or tumor size assessed by liver-spleen scan or ultrasound are not sensitive indicators of the tumor response during chemotherapy.
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View details for PubMedID 2966088