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OBJECTIVE: Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are being seen increasingly frequently, and recent data show that long-acting somatostatin analogues have become a major initial treatment, regardless of whether the tumors are functioning or not. However, test dosing with subcutaneous (sc) octreotide is usually advised to assess longer-term tolerability, although this advice is mainly based on results with functioning tumors. The aim of the study was to assess the value of an initiating test dose of sc octreotide on the prediction of subsequent adverse events after treatment with the long-acting analogue. METHODS: In a single, large Centre of Excellence for NETs, a first cohort of patients (n = 24) was admitted overnight after an sc injection of octreotide, and then administered the analogue; a subsequent group (n = 53) had the test dose performed on an outpatient basis. Side effects were recorded after the test dose and subsequent treatment with the long-acting analogue. RESULTS: The test dose injection was of little value in predicting adverse events following the long-acting somatostatin analogue. CONCLUSION: Unless there are serious symptoms associated with a functioning NET, it is unnecessary to carry out a test dose; a change to this procedure will improve resource allocation and should enhance early initiation onto maintenance therapy. ABBREVIATIONS: CLARINET = Controlled study of lanreotide antiproliferative response in neuroendocrine tumors LAR = long-acting repeatable NET = neuroendocrine tumor PROMID = Placebo-controlled, double-blind, prospective, randomized study on the effect of octreotide LAR in the control of tumor growth in patients with meta-static neuroendocrine midgut tumors.

Original publication




Journal article


Endocr Pract

Publication Date





189 - 194


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal, Delayed-Action Preparations, Double-Blind Method, Female, Gastrointestinal Neoplasms, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Neoadjuvant Therapy, Neoplasm Metastasis, Neuroendocrine Tumors, Octreotide, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Retrospective Studies, Somatostatin