Advanced Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasms: Which Systemic Treatment Should I Start With?

Victor Rodriguez-Freixinos, Alia Thawer, Jaume Capdevila, Diego Ferone, Simron Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (panNENs) often present as advanced disease and there is little data to guide treatment sequencing in the advance disease setting. Therefore, we aim to provide a comprehensive summary of the current evidence supporting the use of systemic treatment for patients with diagnosis of advanced and metastatic panNENs, as well as to provide strategies for treatment selection and address challenges for treatment selection and sequencing of therapy. Recent Findings: Substantial advances have been made and many clinical trials have been performed over the past two decades expanding therapeutic options available for patients with advanced panNETs. Available systemic treatments for patients with well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors include somatostatin receptors ligands (SRLs), traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy regimens, peptide receptor radiotherapy (PRRT), and biologically targeted therapies, whereas patients with poorly differentiated neurodocrine carcinomas have more limited treatment options. Despite these advances, no clear guidelines exist to support the best sequence of treatments, not only the first-line, but also subsequent lines of therapy in patients with panNENs. Advances in molecular research and discovery of biomarkers for response allowing a more personalized approach to the multimodality therapy of panNENs are still limited. Understanding the impact of previous therapies on subsequent treatment efficacy and toxicity is also an ongoing research question. Summary: In the absence of definite predictive markers and paucity of comparative randomized trials, along with the heterogeneity of this patient population, systemic therapy selection in advanced non-resectable disease should be patient centered and often require evaluation within a multidisciplinary setting. The specific clinical context of the patient, with assessment of individual patient clinical and pathological features, somatostatin receptors imaging, and goals of treatment must all be considered when deciding on systemic therapy in the patient. Additional research is needed to address the gap in knowledge regarding optimal sequencing and timing of therapies and to provide individual care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80
JournalCurrent Oncology Reports
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Chemotherapy
  • Neuroendocrine
  • Pancreatic
  • PRRT
  • Somatostatin receptors ligands
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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