Treatment options for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors

Amit Akirov, Vincent Larouche, Sameerah Alshehri, Sylvia L. Asa, Shereen Ezzat

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The management of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs) involves classification into non-functional or functional PanNET, and as localized or metastatic PanNET. In addition, while most PanNETs are sporadic, these endocrine neoplasms can also be manifestations of genetic syndromes. All these factors may assist in forming a risk stratification system permitting a tailored management approach. Most PanNETs are classified as non-functional because they are not associated with clinical sequelae of hormone excess. They are characterized by non-specific symptoms, such as abdominal pain or weight loss, resulting from mass effect related to the pancreatic tumor or secondary to distant metastases. Accurate staging of the disease is essential for determining the appropriate approach to therapy. As cure is only potentially possible with surgical resection of the tumor, it is recommended to remove all localized and limited metastatic disease. However, many patients present with metastatic and/or advanced local disease. In such instances, the goal of therapy is to control tumor growth and/or decrease tumor burden, lengthen survival, and palliate local symptoms and those of hormone excess. This typically requires a multimodal approach, including surgery, liver-directed treatment, and systemic medical therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number828
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Pancreas
  • Pancreatic cancer


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