Treatment of symptomatic neuroendocrine tumor syndromes: recent advances and controversies

Tetsuhide Ito, Lingaku Lee, Robert T. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Neuroendocrine tumors(NETs), once thought rare, are increasing in frequency in most countries and receiving increasing-attention. NETs present two-treatment problems. A proportion is aggressive and a proportion has a functional, hormone-excess-state(F-NET), each of which must be treated. Recently, there have been many advances, well-covered in reviews/consensus papers on imaging-NETs; new, novel anti-tumor treatments and understanding their pathogenesis. However, little attention has been paid to advances in the treatment of the hormone-excess-state. These advances are usually reported in case-series, and case-reports with few large studies. In this paper these advances are reviewed. Areas covered: Advances in the last 5-years are concentrated on, but a review of literature from the last 10-years was performed. PubMed and other databases (Cochrane, etc.) were searched for F-NET-syndromes including carcinoid-syndrome, as well as meeting-abstracts on NETs. All advances that controlled hormone-excess-states or facilitated-control were covered. These include new medical-therapies [serotonin-synthesis inhibitors(telotristat), Pasireotide, new agents for treating ACTHomas], increased dosing with conventional therapies (octreotide-LAR, Lanreotide-Autogel), mTor inhibitors(everolimus), Tyrosine-kinase inhibitors(sunitinib),cytoreductive surgery, liver-directed therapies (embolization, chemoembolization, radioembolization, RFA), peptide radio-receptor-therapy(PRRT) and 131I-MIBG, ablation of primary F-NETs. Expert opinion: Although many of the newer therapies controlling the hormone-excess-states in F-NETs are reported in relatively few patients, all the approaches show promise. Their description also generates some controversies/unresolved areas,such as the order of these new treatments, their longterm-efficacy, and effectiveness of combinations which may require large,controlled studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2191-2205
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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