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Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2011 Dec;10(4):298-309. doi: 10.1016/j.clcc.2011.06.006. Epub 2011 Aug 2.

Emerging therapies for advanced gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

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1
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.

Abstract

Neuroendocrine tumors comprise a heterogeneous group of neoplasms derived from peptide- and amine-producing cells of the neuroendocrine system. Gastroenteropancreatic NET are differentiated into tumors and carcinomas based on their malignant potential and subdivided into those arising from the pancreas (islet cell tumors or pancreatic NET) and the more classical gut "carcinoids". Moderate to well differentiated NET have historically been considered rare tumors but recent epidemiological statistics suggest that their frequency has increased substantially over the past three decades. While the incidence of NET is increasing, data from both the US and UK demonstrate no improvement in outcomes over a similar time period. Due to the generally indolent biology of NET, most patients present with advanced disease before symptoms become apparent. In patients with localized NET, the 5-year survival rates after resection range from 60 to 90%, while regional lymph node involvement decreases the 5-year survival rates after surgery to 50-75%. Patients with distant metastases have a 5 year survival rate of approximately 25-40%. Conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy is of unclear benefit in patients with these generally slow growing tumors. Multiple agents have been tested in Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials. In general, the lack of major objective responses with significant toxicities has limited routine use of traditional chemotherapy agents and has emphasized the need to develop new agents in these diseases. This review will focus on emerging molecularly-targeted treatments with an emphasis on their underlying biologic and preclinical rationale.

PMID:
21813338
DOI:
10.1016/j.clcc.2011.06.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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