Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) are rare tumors that present many clinical features secreting peptides and neuroamines that cause distinct clinical syndromes such as carcinoid syndrome. However most of them are clinically silent until late presentation with mass effects. Surgical resection is the first line treatment for a patient with a GEP-NET while in metastatic disease multiple therapeutic approaches are possible. GEP-NETs are able to express somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) bounded by somatostatin (SST) or its synthetic analogs, although the subtypes and number of SSTRs expressed are very variable. In particular, SST analogs are used frequently to control hormone-related symptoms while their anti-neoplastic activity seems to result prevalently in tumor stabilization. Patients who fail to respond or cease to respond to standard SST analogs treatment seem to have a response to higher doses of these drugs. For this reason, the use of higher doses of SST analogs will probably improve the clinical management of these patients.
- neuroendocrine tumors
- somatostatin analogs