Summary of emerging personalized medicine in neuroendocrine tumors: are we on track?

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) comprise a heterogeneous group of malignancies, with differences in prognosis and effective therapies. Traditionally, NETs have been characterized by tumor grade, site of primary tumor, functional status, and presence of underlying familial syndrome. However, increased feasibility and utilization of next-generation sequencing and other methodologies have revealed new genomic and epigenetic aberrations. In the last decade, treatment options available for metastatic well-differentiated gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) NETs have expanded, with approval of antiangiogenic and mTOR-directed targeted therapies, and our armamentarium of active therapies is likely to further increase. Cytotoxic therapies also are an important option for pancreatic NETs, and MGMT promoter methylation and protein expression may be an important biomarker for efficacy of alkylating agents. Peptide receptor radioligand therapy is an emerging treatment that uses functional imaging to personalize dosimetry to the tumor and avoid nephrotoxicity. Nevertheless, there is a critical need for further biomarkers, particularly multianalyte biomarkers, to aid in prognostication and predict efficacy of therapies.

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