Over the past 5 years, a number of notable research advances have been made in the field of neuroendocrine cancer, specifically with regard to neuroendocrine cancer of the gastrointestinal tract. The aim of this Review is to provide an update on current knowledge that has proven effective for the clinical management of patients with these tumours. For example, for the first time in the tubular gastrointestinal tract, well-differentiated high-grade (grade 3) tumours and mixed neuroendocrine–non-neuroendocrine neoplasms (MiNENs) are defined in the WHO classification. This novel classification enables efficient identification of the most aggressive well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumours and helps in defining the degree of aggressiveness of MiNENs. The Review also discusses updates to epidemiology, cell biology (including vesicle-specific components) and the as-yet-unresolved complex genetic background that varies according to site and differentiation status. The Review summarizes novel diagnostic instruments, including molecules associated with the secretory machinery, novel radiological approaches (including pattern recognition techniques), novel PET tracers and liquid biopsy combined with DNA or RNA assays. Surgery remains the treatment mainstay; however, peptide receptor radionuclide therapy with novel radioligands and new emerging medical therapies (including vaccination and immunotherapy) are evolving and being tested in clinical trials, which are summarized and critically reviewed here.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism