Published Date: February 25, 2023Full Text Article
An Insight on Functioning Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Neoplasms
Authors: Michele Bevere, Anastasios Gkountakos, Filippo Maria Martelli, Aldo Scarpa, Claudio Luchini, Michele Simbolo
Biomedicines. 2023 Jan 21;11(2):303. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines11020303.
Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (PanNENs) are rare neoplasms arising from islets of the Langerhans in the pancreas. They can be divided into two groups, based on peptide hormone secretion, functioning and nonfunctioning PanNENs. The first group is characterized by different secreted peptides causing specific syndromes and is further classified into subgroups: insulinoma, gastrinoma, glucagonoma, somatostatinoma, VIPoma and tumors producing serotonin and adrenocorticotrophic hormone. Conversely, the second group does not release peptides and is usually associated with a worse prognosis. Today, although the efforts to improve the therapeutic approaches, surgery remains the only curative treatment for patients with PanNENs. The development of high-throughput techniques has increased the molecular knowledge of PanNENs, thereby allowing us to understand better the molecular biology and potential therapeutic vulnerabilities of PanNENs. Although enormous advancements in therapeutic and molecular aspects of PanNENs have been achieved, there is poor knowledge about each subgroup of functioning PanNENs.Therefore, we believe that combining high-throughput platforms with new diagnostic tools will allow for the efficient characterization of the main differences among the subgroups of functioning PanNENs. In this narrative review, we summarize the current landscape regarding diagnosis, molecular profiling and treatment, and we discuss the future perspectives of functioning PanNENs.