Octreotide therapy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma

Wilco A. Slijkhuis, Linda Stadheim, Ziad M. Hassoun, Ugochukwu C. Nzeako, Walter K. Kremers, Jayant A. Talwalkar, Gregory J. Gores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Treatment options for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain limited. Recently, octreotide has been proposed for therapy, although its efficacy remains controversial. Thus, the aim of this open-label pilot study was to evaluate the response of HCC to long-acting octreotide (Sandostatin LAR). Thirty patients were enrolled for this prospective 2-year trial. Initially, patients were given short acting octreotide to ensure drug tolerability. Thereafter, patients received long-acting octreotide 30 mg IM every 4 to 6 weeks. Measurable disease was assessed at 3-month intervals. Five of 30 patients were unable to tolerate the test dose, and 1 patient was reevaluated and underwent hepatic resection. The remaining 24 patients, who received long-acting octreotide, all had advanced stage of disease with multifocal-massive morphology (67%), vascular thrombosis (63%), or extrahepatic spread (17%), but well compensated liver disease. The treatment was well tolerated, except for diarrhea. Median time to tumor progression was 3.6 months, and median survival was 5.1 months. Seven patients (29%) had stable disease (median duration of 8.0 months) with 2 patients demonstrating disease stability for 24 months. In conclusion, although occasional patients appear to have stable disease on long-acting octreotide therapy, overall the beneficial response in terms of time to tumor progression and survival is limited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-338
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of clinical gastroenterology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Octreotide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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