Unresectable gastrointestinal origin Progressive Neuroendocrine Tumors

Unresectable Gastrointestinal Origin Progressive Neuroendocrine Tumors

Progressive neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) of unresectable gastrointestinal origin are a rare form of cancer, which can be quite aggressive. Such tumors have a poor prognosis as well as limited treatment options. The majority of patients are unaware of their condition until it is advanced, making early detection and diagnosis of the disease a challenge.

PNETs of unresectable gastrointestinal origin are specifically found in the pancreas, small intestine, colon, rectum, or appendix. They are localized tumors that have grown and infiltrated surrounding tissue, making them impossible to remove through surgery. They are considered to be advanced in nature, as they have typically spread to other parts of the body.

Signs and symptoms of these tumors often include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, jaundice and fatigue. Some forms of PNET may also cause excess levels of hormones in the body, such as gastrin or insulin. The tumors can easily spread to the lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and other organs of the body. With no effective treatment for unresectable gastrointestinal PNETs, some patients choose to pursue palliative care in order to manage the symptoms of their disease.

Currently, chemotherapy and targeted therapies are the main treatment options for unresectable gastrointestinal origin PNETs. Chemotherapy medications like etoposide and temozolomide may be used to try and shrink the tumor and reduce the levels of hormones in the body. Targeted therapies such as bevacizumab and sunitinib can also be used, as they specifically target the cell surface receptors that the tumor uses to receive nutrients and replicate.

Radiation therapy is sometimes used to help reduce the size of the primary tumor and relieve discomfort. Other supportive treatments may also be implemented in order to provide gastrointestinal support and alleviate other symptoms of the disease.

Support from family and friends is essential, as well as talking to your doctor or healthcare team about other options that may be available. With the right treatment and support, it is possible to manage the symptoms and improve quality of life for patients with unresectable gastrointestinal PNETs.