Complete clinical remission and disappearance of liver metastases after treatment with somatostatin analogue in a 40-year-old woman with a malignant insulinoma positive for somatostatin receptors type 2

Published on Friday, 19 July 2019


Insulinoma is the most common pancreatic endocrine tumor, accounting for 40% of all pancreatic functional neoplasm, and is characterized by hypersecretion of insulin and hypoglycemia. Elective treatment for insulinomas is surgical enucleation. Medical therapy with diazoxide, followed by somatostatin analogues in some cases, may be necessary to treat the hypoglycemic symptoms.

We report a case of a patient affected by metastatic insulinoma with severe hypoglycemia. After surgery, histopathology confirmed the presence of a malignant insulinoma with multiple metastases in the liver. Due to the persistence of hypoglycemia, the patient was started on octreotide LAR treatment, which determined a complete clinical remission with regression of the metastatic lesions in the liver after one year.

Repeated CT scans 2 and 3 years after surgery confirmed the remission.

To our knowledge, the complete regression of the disease in insulinomas treated with long-standing somatostatin analogue therapy has never been reported.

Immunohistochemical analysis in tissue specimens showed a strong membrane immunoreactivity for somatostatin receptors type 2 (SSTR2) in both the primary nodule and the metastases.

The capacity of somatostatin analogues to negatively regulate cell proliferation through indirect and direct mechanisms has been experimentally demonstrated.

Furthermore, SSTR2 activation may exert pro-apoptotic effects in neoplastic cells. Thus, both mechanisms may have been responsible of the remission of the disease in this patient.

This case underlies the potential impact of the treatment of pancreatic insulinomas with somatostatin analogues, and, if confirmed, the usefulness of SSTR determination in these neoplastic specimens.


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See also:

- Official Web Site: The Di Bella Method;

- Somatostatin in oncology, the overlooked evidences - In vitro, review and in vivo publications;

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Somatostatin, Octreotide, Sandostatin LAR, analogues and/or derivatives);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Calcium, 2 grams per day, orally);

- The Di Bella Method (A Fixed Part - Bromocriptine and/or Cabergoline);

- Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: clinical records on 17 patients treated with Di Bella's Method;

- The Di Bella Method Increases by the 30% the survival rate for Pancreas tumors and for this reason should be proposed as first line therapy for this type of cancer;

- The Di Bella Method DBM improved survival objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 23 tumours of the head and neck;

- Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme (grade IV – WHO 2007): a case of complete objective response achieved by means of the concomitant administration of Somatostatin and Octreotide – Retinoids – Vitamin E – Vitamin D3 – Vitamin C – Melatonin – D2 R agonists (Di Bella Method – DBM) associated with Temozolomide;

- Neuroblastoma: Complete objective response to biological treatment;

- Oesophageal squamocellular carcinoma: a complete and objective response;

- The Synergism of Somatostatin, Melatonin, Vitamins Prolactin and Estrogen Inhibitors Increased Survival, Objective Response and Performance Status In 297 Cases of Breast Cancer;

- Complete objective response, stable for 5 years, with the Di Bella Method, of multiple-metastatic carcinoma of the breast;

- Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the first-line treatment with somatostatin combined with melatonin, retinoids, vitamin D3, and low doses of cyclophosphamide in 20 cases of breast cancer: a preliminary report;

- The Di Bella Method (DBM) improved survival, objective response and performance status in a retrospective observational clinical study on 122 cases of breast cancer;

- Complete objective response to biological therapy of plurifocal breast carcinoma.