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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2015, Article ID 425876, 5 pages
Research Article

Amrubicin Monotherapy for Patients with Platinum-Refractory Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Carcinoma

1Department of Gastroenterology and Hematology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toyama, Sugitani, Toyama 2630, Japan
2Department of Diagnostic Pathology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toyama, Sugitani, Toyama 2630, Japan

Received 29 November 2014; Revised 29 May 2015; Accepted 1 June 2015

Academic Editor: Antoni Castells

Copyright © 2015 Takayuki Ando et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. Patients with gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) have a poor prognosis. Platinum-based combination chemotherapy is commonly used as first-line treatment; however, the role of salvage chemotherapy remains unknown. This study aimed to analyze the efficacy and safety of amrubicin monotherapy in patients with platinum-refractory gastroenteropancreatic NEC. Methods. Among 22 patients with advanced gastroenteropancreatic NEC, 10 received amrubicin monotherapy between September 2007 and May 2014 after failure of platinum-based chemotherapy. The efficacy and toxicity of the treatment were analyzed retrospectively. Results. Eight males and two females (median age, 67 years (range, 52–78)) received platinum-based chemotherapy, including cisplatin plus irinotecan (, 70%), cisplatin plus etoposide (, 20%), and carboplatin plus etoposide (, 10%) before amrubicin therapy. Median progression-free survival and overall survival after amrubicin therapy were 2.6 and 5.0 months, respectively. Two patients had partial response (20% response rate), and their PFS were 6.2 months and 6.3 months, respectively. Furthermore, NEC with response for amrubicin had characteristics with a high Ki-67 index and receipt of prior chemotherapy with cisplatin and irinotecan. Grade 3-4 neutropenia and anemia were observed in four and five patients, respectively. Conclusion. Amrubicin monotherapy appears to be potentially active and well-tolerated for platinum-refractory gastroenteropancreatic NEC.