Data from the TELEPRO-II study of Xermelo were recently published in the Journal of Cancer Management and Research. It investigated this oral therapy as a treatment for carcinoid syndrome (CS) diarrhea in the largest observational, real-world study of Xermelo to date.
About Carcinoid Syndrome (CS)
Carcinoid syndrome is a rare condition that occurs in patients with malignant carcinoid tumors, which releases chemicals into the bloodstream. They most commonly form in the digestive tract and lungs, although they can also grow in the pancreas, ovaries, and testicles. They lead to symptoms such as:
- Night sweats
- Skin that becomes red, flushed, and hot
- At times the skin can appear purple
- This symptom is worsened by exercise, alcohol, and stress
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal pain
Medical professionals are unsure as to why and how these tumors form. This syndrome is also difficult to diagnose, as it is characterized by symptoms common to a number of other conditions. In terms of treatment, options include surgical removal of the tumor, chemotherapy, and medications that block the chemicals that the tumor secretes. Doctors also recommend avoiding alcohol and other triggers that worsen symptoms, alongside multivitamins to ensure patients receive all necessary nutrients that could be lost from diarrhea.
684 patients with CS were included in the study, all of whom reported their experiences during their first three months of treatment with Xermelo. At the beginning of treatment, they reported a mean of 6.3 bowel movements (BMs) daily, translating to a significant burden.
The mean stool consistency (6.5) was reported on a scale of one to ten, with ten being watery and one being very hard. In terms of the mean stool urgency score, patients reported an urgency of 8.3 out of ten, with ten representing “worst imaginable symptoms.” The mean number of episodes of flushing was 3.1/day, and mean nausea severity was 8.4 out of ten. Lastly, the mean abdominal pain score was reported at 6.8 out of ten.
In terms of results, patients reported improvements in all of these symptoms. The mean number of BMs dropped from 6.3 to 2.3, while stool consistency was lowered by 55% and stool urgency by 73%.
These results are very positive, as they reinforce the idea that Xermelo is another option for patients with carcinoid syndrome. If you want to learn more about this study, click here.