Purpose: Diarrhea associated with acute gastrointestinal (GI) graft- versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) can result in severe morbidity and mortality. A pilot study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of octreotide in the management of diarrhea in patients with GVHD after allogeneic BMT. Patients and Methods: Twenty-one patients entered the study. Patients received either peripheral- blood stem cells (n = 13) or bone marrow (n = 8). Seven patients had grade 4, 13 grade 3, and one grade 2 GVHD. Intravenous (IV) octreotide 500 μg every 8 hours for 7 days was administered. Octreotide treatment was discontinued if no response was observed after 7 days or for grade 4 toxicity. Results: Fifteen (71%) of 21 treated patients had a complete response within 7 days of the initiation of octreotide; three (14%) had a partial response and three (14%) failed to respond to treatment. Toxicities were minimal; hyperglycemia was seen in four patients and one patient developed a partial ileus. Octreotide was discontinued and the ileus resolved within 48 hours. Conclusion: If initiated early in the course of GI GVHD, octreotide appears to be an effective, well-tolerated agent in reducing severe voluminous diarrhea. Octreotide should be discontinued within 24 hours after the resolution of diarrhea to avoid the development of ileus. Because no additional reduction in the volume of diarrhea occurred after 7 days of therapy, continuation of the drug beyond this time is not cost effective.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research