FDA has approved a new oral therapy (telotristat ethyl) for patients experiencing carcinoid syndrome diarrhea. Patients’ symptoms can be frequent and severe—disrupting daily activities—even increasing the risk of heart valve damage over time. The drug targets enzymes in NET cancer cells that over produce serotonin.
“This is an option for patients whose carcinoid syndrome diarrhea is inadequately controlled by somatostatin analog (SSA) therapy,” said Matthew H. Kulke, MD, primary investigator in clinical trials of the drug, Director of the Program in Neuroendocrine and Carcinoid Tumors at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies show telotristat ethyl can reduce the debilitating effects of carcinoid syndrome diarrhea with a favorable efficacy and safety profile for patients with limited treatment options.”