ESMO E-Learning: Overview on Management of Neuroendocrine Tumours of Gastrointestinal Tract

Learning Objectives

  • To understand the classification scheme for neuroendocrine neoplasms of the gastrointestinal tract and the basic aspects of tumour biology and pathogenesis.
  • To understand which organs of the gastrointestinal tract are most often affected by neuroendocrine tumours and recognise typical and unusual clinical manifestations, associated syndromes, and patient prognosis. 
  • To understand currently available treatment options and rational clinical management of neuroendocrine tumours of gastrointestinal tract.
Title Duration Content CME Points CME Test
Overview on Management of Neuroendocrine Tumours of Gastrointestinal Tract 40 min. 67 slides 1 Take Test
Ramón Salazar
Ramon Salazar
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This E-Learning module summarises the epidemiology, pathophysiology, classification, clinical management and outcomes of patients with neuroendocrine tumours of the gastrointestinal tract and highlights recent research advances in this field. These tumours are rare neoplasms and like other neuroendocrine tumours, display variable malignant potential, hormone-related syndromes (functionality), localisation and genetic background. The molecular mechanisms involved in early tumorigenesis and tumour progression are poorly known.

This module summarises the current understanding of the molecular pathogenesis and the recently revised grading and staging systems that facilitate patient risk stratification, and thereby directly impact on clinical decision making. It further discusses prognostic factors and the optimal clinical management, which involves a multidisciplinary approach.

Surgery remains the only curative treatment for early-stage disease and may also have a role in patients with advanced-stage disease (cytoreduction), including those with hepatic metastases. Other therapeutic approaches include radiofrequency ablation, transarterial chemoembolisation, polypeptide radionuclide Receptor therapy, chemotherapy, somatostatin analogues, biotherapy and new molecular targeted therapies.

This module covers a rational for molecular pathways inhibition as well as treatment results from new clinical trials and side effects of new molecular classes of agents. For the first time, large phase III randomised trials have been completed in some types of gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumours and the module discusses the results achieved. These studies have added new therapeutic options, and everolimus and sunitinib have recently been approved for the treatment of advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours.

At the end, this E-Learning module provides the treatment algorithm and advocates for further research needed to improve the therapeutic options.

Last update: 11 June 2012

The author has reported conducting research sponsored by Novartis and Pfizer. He has acted as speaker at events sponsored by Novartis, Pfizer and Ipsen.