Selecting patients for cytotoxic therapies in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors
Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (GEP-NET) have heterogenic clinical presentations. The majority of GEP-NET tumours have an indolent behaviour, but patients will eventually develop symptoms of tumour progression or hormone secretion that may require systemic medical interventions. Cytotoxic chemotherapy has been tested in GEP-NETs since the 80s, but treatment recommendations are controversial in many instances. Patient selection is mandatory for optimal use of chemotherapy. Important prognostic factors such as primary tumour site, tumour differentiation, tumour staging and proliferation index have been identified and validated in retrospective and prospective series. The combination of those factors and the natural history of GEP-NET provide valuable information with respect to treatment planning. In this report we provide treatment recommendations to improve systemic therapy in patients with advanced GEP-NETs based on a comprehensive review of the literature.
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