Somatostatin Analogs in Cancer Management
Although cytotoxic chemotherapy is very effective in the management of certain neoplasms such as testicular cancer, the efficacy of this therapeutic modality in the treatment of many common neoplasms is limited. Cure of macroscopic metastatic disease is extremely rare, and palliation of symptoms by chemotherapy can be problematic since the toxicity of the treatment often mitigates any improvement in the quality of life resulting from the temporary decrease in tumor burden. This situation has not only motivated attempts to develop novel cytotoxic agents, but has also stimulated research regarding innovative non-cytotoxic approaches. Amongst the various hormonal agents, increasing attention is being directed to somatostatin analogs, largely due to their antineoplastic activity in a variety of experimental models in vitro and in vivo and to the elucidation of some of the underlying molecular mechanisms. As a consequence, there is much ongoing clinical research to determine whether or not results from experimental studies will translate into clinical applications. This special issue presents a critical review of recent developments in the field and discusses the current and future oncological use of somatostatin analogs as well as the basic science behind it. Compiled by 30 international scientists, all of whom have significantly contributed to this new knowledge, it will be extremely useful not only to oncologists but also to physicians in the different specialties who manage patients with a given malignancy.