Article

Chemotherapy and role of the proliferation marker Ki67 in digestive neuroendocrine tumors

Uppsala University, Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden
Endocrine Related Cancer (Impact Factor: 4.91). 07/2007; 14(2). DOI: 10.1677/ERC-06-0074

ABSTRACT Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) of the digestive tract are a heterogeneous group of rare malignancies. Three major subgroups can be defined: pancreatic endocrine tumors, carcinoid tumors, and poorly differentiated gastroenteropancreatic NETs. Classically, digestive NETS have been considered to have an indolent course characterized for prolonged stabilizations or slow progressions, but there are clear differences in terms of aggressiveness, clinical course, and response to treatment among them. Retrospective studies have identified several clinicopathological and immunohistochemical factors as angioinvasion and proliferative index assessed by Ki-67 expression, which predict biological behavior and correlate with survival. Chemotherapy regimens based on the combination of several active drugs such as streptozocin, doxorubicin, 5-fluorouracil, dacarbazine, and temozolomide show low response rates, which sets the need to improve the results of the medical treatment of these malignancies. This review will analyze the role of Ki-67 in digestive NETs under a clinical perspective and will suggest future fields for development of this approach that enable a better patient selection for chemotherapy. Also a comprehensive review of the literature about chemotherapy in NETs is presented.

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