Role of Octreotide in Cancer and Therapy-Related Complications
September 01, 2002
Octreotide (Sandostatin), a somatostatin analog, has a wide range of uses in the management of cancer patients. It is a unique molecule that specifically binds to somatostatin receptor subtype 2. This property of activating the receptor can result in a multitude of physiologic actions (for example, inhibition of synthesis and release of peptides in endocrine and neoplastic cells, antiangiogenesis, antisecretory effect in the gastrointestinal mucosa, anticholecystokinin activity retarding gallbladder motility, and reduction in splanchnic blood flow). In addition, in vitro experiments confirm that octreotide has cytostatic activity against a variety of malignancies. Octreotide is now widely used in the treatment of hormonal syndromes that result from a variety of neuroendocrine and endocrine neoplasms. Its dramatic effect in controlling malignant carcinoid syndrome and hormone-induced diarrhea (for example, from gastrinoma and VIPoma) has been well documented. However, the chronic use of octreotide can result in steatorrhea and gallstone formation.