Medical management of secretory syndromes related to gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours

Georgios K Dimitriadis, Martin O Weickert, Harpal S Randeva, Gregory Kaltsas, Ashley Grossman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Although recent epidemiological evidence indicates that the prevalence of non-functioning gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) is rising, a significant number of GEP-NETs still present with symptoms related to the secretion of biologically active substances leading to the development of distinct clinical syndromes. In the past, these syndromes were associated with substantial morbidity and mortality due to the lack of specific therapies; however, since the introduction of long-acting somatostatin analogues and medications such as proton pump inhibitors, their control has been greatly improved. As a result, nowadays, the main cause of morbidity and mortality in GEP-NETs is mostly directly related to tumour growth and the extent of metastatic disease. However, in some patients with functioning tumours and extensive disease, control of the secretory syndrome still remains problematic, necessitating the employment of several cytoreductive techniques, which may not always be sufficient. Recently, new agents directed against tumour growth, or exerting increased binding activity to receptors expressed in these tumours, or interfering with the synthetic pathway of some of the compounds secreted by these tumours, have been developed. Since there are no specific guidelines addressing the totality of the management of the secretory syndromes related to GEP-NETs, this review aims at critically analysing the medical management of previously recognised secretory syndromes; it also addresses areas of uncertainty, assesses the newer therapeutic developments and also addresses recently described but poorly characterised secretory syndromes related to GEP-NETs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R423-36
JournalEndocrine-Related Cancer
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors/drug therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Paraneoplastic Endocrine Syndromes/drug therapy
  • Somatostatin/analogs & derivatives


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