Well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) of the digestive tract are being increasingly detected, which is partly explained by the increased use of endoscopic and cross-sectional imaging as well as improved recognition at histopathological evaluation. After the discovery of this relatively indolent type of epithelial malignancy over 100 years ago, their sporadic occurrence and divergent biological behaviour at multiple primary sites have hampered dedicated studies into NET pathogenesis and testing of drug efficacy in well-designed clinical trials. The last decade, however, has seen significant improvements in the NET field regarding our understanding of their pathophysiology. This has been substantiated by novel and exciting diagnostic and therapeutic options, including superior positron emission tomography imaging, treatment with unlabelled and radiolabelled somatostatin analogues and inhibitors of the mammalian target of rapamycin and vascular endothelial growth factor pathways. This review summarises contemporary studies within NET patients, which have enriched our clinical repertoire for this disease and have been instrumental in securing a remarkable improvement of overall survival within recent years.

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The Netherlands Journal of Medicine
Department of Internal Medicine

Hofland, J., Feelders, R., Brabander, T., Franssen, G., & de Herder, W. (2018). Recent developments in the diagnosis and therapy of well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumours. The Netherlands Journal of Medicine (Vol. 76, pp. 100–108). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/105909