Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial of pasireotide for people who have symptoms of carcinoid syndrome that are not controlled with other drugs (SIG-NET)
This trial looked at a drug called pasireotide to see if it controlled symptoms of carcinoid syndrome.
Carcinoid tumours can spread to other parts of the body such as the liver,
Doctors may treat carcinoid syndrome with drugs called somatostatin analogues. These drugs can help, but do not control diarrhoea or flushing.
In this trial, researchers looked at a somatostatin analogue called pasireotide. They compared it with another drug called octreotide. Octreotide is already used to treat carcinoid syndrome but in this trial, people had a higher dose than doctors usually give.
The aim of the trial was to see which of these 2 treatments was better for people who had symptoms of carcinoid syndrome that were not controlled with other drugs.
Summary of results
The trial team found that pasireotide was similar to octreotide for controlling the symptoms of carcinoid syndrome.
This was a phase 3 trial. It recruited 110 people. It was a randomised trial. The people taking part were put into treatment groups by a computer. Neither they nor their doctor were able to decide which group they were in.
The 2 groups were
- 53 people who had pasireotide
- 57 people who had octreotide
After 6 months of treatment the researchers looked at how many people had their symptoms controlled. They found that it was
- 21 out of every 100 people (21%) who had pasireotide
- 27 out of every 100 people (27%) who had octreotide
The most common symptoms in both groups were diarrhoea and tummy (abdominal) pain. Some people who had pasireotide also had high blood sugar levels but most of those who had octreotide didn’t.
After these results the team decided to close the trial early.
The trial team concluded that pasireotide was similar to octreotide in controlling symptoms of carcinoid syndrome. They also said that another phase 3 trial with a larger number of people was needed to make clearer what role pasireotide might have as treatment for carcinoid syndrome.
We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Was Mansoor
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)
NET Patient Foundation
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)