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Neuroendocrine Tumor Program

A collaboration between Penn Gastroenterology and the Penn Renal, Electrolyte and Hypertension results in an interdisciplinary program to diagnose, stage and treat neuroendocrine tumors

The Penn Neuroendocrine Tumor Treatment Program provides a comprehensive, inter disciplinary approach to the diagnosis, staging, and medical and surgical treatment of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) and pheochromocytomas. GEP-NETs are a rare (~2 percent of all GI tumors), heterogeneous group of malignancies occurring in the digestive tract. Pheochromocytomas are tumors of neuroendocrine chromaffin cells, and are found in both the adrenal glands and in extra-adrenal locations. They are even rarer (~2/100,000 persons) than GEP-NETs. With early diagnosis and treatment, tumors in both neuroendocrine classes are potentially curable and manageable for the long term. Originating in cells having both nervous and endocrine properties, GEP-NETs are classified by histology as either alimentary tract carcinoid lesions (NETs) or pancreatic endocrine tumors (PETs) and subcategorized by whether or not they secrete neuroamines, hormones or peptides at levels sufficient to cause a syndromic response. A recent standard WHO classification has proposed that GEP-NETs be assigned to one of three categories (well-differentiated tumor, well differentiated carcinoma, and poorly differentiated carcinoma) based on histology, size and proliferative indices (Source).

There are a wide variety of treatment methods for these tumors including hormone therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, biological and molecularly targeted therapies, radiation therapy, and clinical trials (Source). Our program has a dedicated nurse coordinator (Bonnie Bennett, RN) who helps coordinate care for our patients.

Many physicians from many medical and surgical disciplines collaborate to implement the best treatment strategy for each patient’s case and individual patients are discussed at our Neuroendocrine Tumor Board as necessary to provide a consensus approach to management. Some of the major physicians at Penn collaborating on this research and treatment program  include David C. Metz, MD (Gastroenterology), Xianxin Hua, MD, PhD (Abramson Cancer Center research biology), Daniel Pryma, MD (nuclear medicine) , Debbie Cohen, MD (renal hypertension division), Ursina Teitelbaum, MD and Arturo Loaizo Bonilla, MD (medical oncology), Douglas Fraker, MD and Robert Roses, MD (surgical oncology), Michael Soulen, MD (interventional radiology), Kate Nathanson, MD (genetics), Keith Cengel, MD, PhD (Radiation Oncology), and Julia Kharlip, MD (endocrinology).

Current Clinical Trials are available here.

To refer a patient to the Penn NET Treatment Program, call 215-615-4646 or 800-789-7366 or visit PennMedicine.org/referral.

 

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University of Pennsylvania | Perelman School of Medicine