Considerations Concerning a Tailored, Individualized Therapeutic Management of Patients with (neuro)Endocrine Tumors of the Gastrointestinal Tract and Pancreas

W W de Herder, E P Krenning, C H J van Eijck 2 and S W J Lamberts

Endocrine-Related Cancer . 2004; 11: 19-34

Abstract:

Endocrine tumours of the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas may present at different disease stages with either hormonal or hormone-related symptoms/syndromes, or without hormonal symptoms. They may occur either sporadically or as part of hereditary syndromes. In the therapeutic approach to a patient with these tumours, excessive hormonal secretion and/or its effects should always be controlled first. Tumour-related deficiencies or disorders should also be corrected. Subsequently, control should be aimed at the tumour growth. Surgery is generally considered as first-line therapy for patients with localized disease, as it can be curative. However, in patients with metastatic disease the role of first-line surgery is not clearly established and other therapies should be considered, such as non-surgical cytoreductive therapies, biotherapy (with somatostatin analogues or interferon-a), embolization and chemoembolization of liver metastases, chemotherapy (with single or multiple dose regimens) and peptide receptor-targeted radiotherapy. The delicate balance of the use of the different therapeutical options in patients with endocrine tumours of the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas emphasizes the importance of team approach and team expertise.

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