ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2017) 52 NETS1 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.52.NETS1

The role of biomarkers in the management of neuroendocrine tumours

Dalvinder Singh Mandair


Neuroendocrine Tumour Unit, ENETS Centre of Excellence, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK.


Neuroendocrine tumours are a heterogeneous group of tumours that arise in diverse anatomical locations and vary greatly in behavior and response to treatment. A biomarker is a characteristic that can be objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of a pathogenic process or response to treatment. Biomarkers can be diagnostic, prognostic, predictive or surrogate markers of clinical endpoints. The management of neuroendocrine tumours has changed dramatically with the introduction of new therapies with strong evidence of their efficacy from international clinical trials. However there remains significant heterogeneity in treatment response that cannot be predicted by clinical characteristics alone. Currently available biomarkers are limited as predictive and prognostic tools and only Chromogranin A is currently recommended by the European Neuroendocrine tumour society (ENETS) for monitoring for progressive disease in non-functional NETs. There is a pressing need for biomarkers that help identify more aggressive disease, guide treatment and can be used in surveillance to detect early recurrence or tumour progression. In this talk I will review the currently available circulating biomarkers, both their indications for use and their limitations in clinical practice. There has been great interest in the emergence of novel biomarkers such as circulating tumour cells, NETest and microRNA. I will evaluate each of these biomarkers by presenting the current evidence for their use and discuss their potential applications in real clinical cases.

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