Neuroendocrine neoplasms: current and potential diagnostic, predictive and prognostic markers

in Endocrine-Related Cancer
Correspondence: R Feelders, Email: r.feelders@erasmusmc.nl
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Some biomarkers for functioning and non-functioning neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) are currently available. Despite their application in clinical practice, results should be interpreted cautiously. Considering the variable sensitivity and specificity of these parameters there is an unmet need for novel biomarkers to improve diagnosis and predict patient outcome. Nowadays, several new biomarkers are being evaluated and may become future tools for the management of NENs. These biomarkers include: (1) peptides and growth factors; (2) DNA and RNA markers based on genomics analysis, e.g the so-called NET test, which has been developed for analyzing gene transcripts in circulating blood; (3) circulating tumor/ endothelial/progenitor cells or cell free tumor DNA, which represent minimally invasive methods that would provide additional information for monitoring treatment response and (4) improved imaging techniques with novel radiolabeled somatostatin analogs or peptides. Below we summarize some future directions in the development of novel diagnostic and predictive/prognostic biomarkers in NENs. This review is focused on circulating and selected tissue markers.

 

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