PURPOSE: Everolimus has been shown to be effective for advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (pNETs), but its positioning in the therapeutic algorithm for pNETs is matter of debate. METHODS: With the aim to shed light on this point, we performed an up-to-date critical review taking into account the results of both retrospective and prospective published studies, and the recommendations of international guidelines. In addition, we performed an extensive search on the Clinical Trial Registries databases worldwide, to gather information on the ongoing clinical trials related to this specific topic. RESULTS: We identified eight retrospective published studies, two prospective published studies, and five registered clinical trials. Moreover, we analyzed the content of four widespread international guidelines. CONCLUSIONS: Our critical review confirms the lack of high-quality data to recommend everolimus as the first line therapy for pNETs. The ongoing clinical trials reported in this review will hopefully help clinicians, in the near future, to better evaluate the role of everolimus as the first line therapy for pNETs. However, at the moment, there is already enough evidence to recommend everolimus as the first line therapy for patients with symptomatic malignant unresectable insulin-secreting pNETs, to control the endocrine syndrome regardless of tumour growth.
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