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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2012 December;58(4):401-26


language: English

Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms

Hörsch D. 1-2, Bert T. 1-2, Schrader J. 3, Hommann M. 1-4, Kaemmerer D. 1-4, Petrovitch A. 1-5, Zaknun J. 1-6, Baum R. P. 1-6

1 Center for Neuroendocrine Tumors Bad Berka ENETS Center of excellence, Bad Berka, Germany; 2 Department of Internal Medicine Gastroenterology and Endocrinology, Central Clinic, Bad Berka GmbH, Bad Berka, Germany; 3 First Department of Internal Medicine, Hamburg-Eppendorf Clinical University Hamburg, Germany; 4 General and Visceral Surgery, Central Clinic, Bad Berka GmbH, Bad Berka, Germany; 5 Department of Interventional Radiology, Central Clinic, Bad Berka GmbH, Bad Berka, Germany; 6 Clinic for Molecular Radiotherapy/Center of Molecular Imaging, Central Clinic, Bad Berka GmbH, Bad Berka, Germany


Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors originate from the diffuse neuroendocrine system in the pancreatic region. These tumors exhibit a rising incidence despite their rareness and due to their benign behavior a considerable prevalence. Pathogenesis of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors is characterized by common pathways of hereditary and sporadic tumors. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors may secrete peptide hormones or biogenic amines in an autonomous fashion as functional active tumors. Pathological grading and staging by TNM systems has been established in recent years classifying well and moderately differentiated pancreatice neuroendocrine tumors and poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas. Chromogranin A and less so pancreatic polypeptide are suitable tumor markers for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Expression of receptors for somatostatin is the basis of treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors with somatostatin analogues as antisecretive and antiproliferative agents. In addition, somatostatin scintigraphy or PET/CT allows comprehensive diagnosis of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, which should be supported by (endoscopic and contrast enhanced) ultrasound, CT and MRI. Therapy of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors consists of somatostatin analogues, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and peptide receptor radionuclide therapy. Two molecular substances hav been registered for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors recently, sunitinib (Sutent®) and everolimus (Afinitor®). Predominant tumor load in the liver may be treated by local ablative therapy or liver transplantation. These treatment options have been included in guidelines of several professional societies and weighted for sequential therapy of patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors according to effects and side effects.

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