Biopsy. It involves collecting a tissue sample and examining it under a microscope for cancerous cells.
How are neuroendocrine tumours treated?
Your doctor will recommend a treatment plan based on factors such as:
Primary site of the tumour
Whether it produces hormones (functional or not)
Its stage and grade (how quickly the cells are dividing)
Its spread to other parts of the body
Common treatment options for NETs include:
Surgery. The goal of surgery is to get rid of the tumour or to ease symptoms in advanced cases. Surgery involves removal of the entire tumour from the site along with some surrounding healthy tissue.
Chemotherapy. It uses drugs to destroy cancerous cells, and is recommended in advanced cases where the cancer has spread and surgery is not an option. Your doctor will share with you a chemotherapy regimen that includes administration of a single drug or a combination of drugs in a specific number of cycles over a period of time.
Radiation therapy. It uses strong energy rays to kill the cancer cells. It is recommended for palliative treatment of painful bone metastases or brain metastases.
Targeted therapy. It uses drugs that target certain proteins or genes on the tumour to kill cancer cells. This therapy limits damage to the healthy cells.
Hormone therapy. In this therapy, somatostatin analogues are used. is a This man-made version of somatostatin is used to prevent the body from making too many hormones and to slow the growth of the NET.
Immunotherapy. It is also known as biologic therapy and aims to boost the body's natural defense system to fight against the tumour.
Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy. It involves a combination of a drug with a radioactive substance. The radioactive drug acts by binding to the somatostatin receptor that is present on cells of certain tumours. It is recommended in advanced gastrointestinal tract and pancreatic NETs.