Neuroendocrine Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

· 2 min read
Neuroendocrine Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Patients with neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer (Pancreatic adenocarcinoma) typically experience several symptoms and signs, presenting a unique therapeutic challenge. Developing a plan for pancreatic cancer therapy requires a multidisciplinary approach combining oncology, surgery, endocrinology, and basic science. Such an interdisciplinary approach will improve patient care and help understand the disease.

Treatment

The most common neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer treatment is surgery. Several types of surgery are used to treat cancer. One type of surgery is debulking, removing as much of the tumour as possible. This may relieve symptoms but cannot cure NET. If your tumour is inoperable, it may need to be removed through open surgery. Another option is enucleation, which involves removing only the tumour. It also involves removing part of your biliary system and small intestine.

Although neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer has no cure, current treatments effectively treat the disease. In a recent study of 99 patients with localized pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours, the survival rate was 91%, and the quality of life was good. Patients with locally advanced PNETs should undergo aggressive surgery to remove cancer. The procedure may involve the removal of local organs or blood vessels.

Diagnosis

A pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour is a type of cancer that occurs in the exocrine, or nonfunctional, pancreas. These tumours are small when first detected and often remain within the pancreas. However, they can spread to other body areas, including the liver. This tumour produces hormones, which cause metabolic imbalances and dramatic hormone-related symptoms.

A diagnosis of neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer begins with a thorough physical examination. A doctor may note symptoms of excess hormone production, such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and rash. The doctor will examine the patient's body for signs of pancreatic NETs and may also perform a physical exam to assess for gallbladder or liver swelling. A biopsy may be necessary to determine whether there is cancer present.

Treatment options

Because treatment options for neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer (NET) vary greatly, it is essential to understand what is available to you. If you have pancreatic NET, you have several treatment options, including standard care (SCOT) and experimental treatments. Standard of care means you will be treated with the most effective treatments. However, it would help if you discussed with your doctor your expectations, goals, and other important considerations, including shared decision-making, which allows you to decide which treatment is best for you.

If your NET is non-functioning, your doctor will probably recommend surgery. This is one of the main treatment options for neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer (NET). The surgery will remove the tumour and surrounding tissues and may control your symptoms for some time. However, this procedure is often associated with considerable risks and should be carefully considered before you decide to have it. Nonetheless, it can improve your quality of life and help you live longer.

Precursors to pancreatic cancer

You may not notice anything in the early stages of neuroendocrine pancreatic tumours. However, the tumours can grow large before symptoms develop. You may experience stomach pain, jaundice, or a rapid heart rate. The hormone-like substances released by the tumours can damage the valves of your heart and cause shortness of breath. Eventually, they may lead to pancreatic cancer.

In the pancreas, endocrine cells produce various cancers, often associated with the exocrine ducts. Oncocytic tumours contain abundant granular eosinophilic cytoplasm and accumulate mitochondria. The presence of ductules in the lesions may indicate the ductules have become trapped within the expanding tumour or are secondary to secondary ductular proliferation.