Biochemical testing for neuroendocrine tumors

Vinik AI, Silva MP, Woltering EA, Go VL, Warner R, Caplin M.
Eastern Virginia Medical School, Strelitz Diabetes Research Center,  Norfolk, VA 23510, USA

Pancreas. 2009 Nov; 38(8): 876-89

Abstract: In this review, we focus on the use of biochemical markers for the diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors and exclusion of conditions that masquerade as neuroendocrine tumors. In addition, we outline the use of biochemical markers for follow-up, response to intervention, and determination of prognosis. Previous publications have focused only on markers specific to certain tumor types, but the uniqueness of this chapter is that it presents a new approach ranging from biochemical markers that relate to symptoms to the use of markers that facilitate decision making with regard to optimizing the choices of therapy from the complex arrays of intervention, The sequence of presentation in this chapter is first to provide the usual view, that is, biochemical markers of each tumor type and thereafter the diagnosis of the underlying condition or exclusion thereof and finally the algorithm for their use from the clinical presentation to the suspected diagnosis and the biochemical markers to monitor progression and therapeutic choice. There is also a specific description of the properties of the most important biochemical markers and 2 complications, bone metastasis and carcinoid heart disease, from the biochemical point of view.

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