Recent progress in the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors

Authors


  • We would like to thank Angela Reagan for her help with the revision of the article.

    DISCLOSURES: Dr. Kvols is on advisory boards for Pfizer, Novartis, and Delcath Systems and has also received honoraria from Novartis.

Abstract

Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) are relatively rare tumors that arise from the diffuse neuroendocrine system. This heterogeneous group of tumors was often considered a single entity. This belied their biological diversity, and the biggest advance in understanding these tumors over the past decades has been in understanding this diversity. Diagnosis of these tumors has been aided by advances in pathological diagnosis and classification and tumor imaging with endoscopic ultrasound and somatostatin receptor fusion imaging. Genetic and molecular advances have identified molecular targets in the treatment of these tumors. Surgery remains the mainstay of treatment, amply supported by interventional radiological techniques, including embolization. Treatment of metastatic disease has improved significantly with the addition of several new agents, including tyrosine kinase inhibitors, mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors, and yttrium-90–DOTA (1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7,10-tetraacetic acid) and lutetium-177–DOTA octreotate. Despite significant advances in the understanding and management of GEP-NETs, the survival of patients remains largely unchanged and there remains a need for the development of national and international research collaborations to spearhead future efforts. CA Cancer J Clin 2011. © 2011 American Cancer Society, Inc.

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