Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) represent a group of heterogeneous tumors whose incidence increased over the past few years. Around half of patients already present with metastatic disease at the initial diagnosis. Despite extensive efforts, cytotoxic and targeted therapies have provided only limited efficacy for patients with metastatic GEP-NETs, mainly due to the development of a certain state of resistance. One factor contributing to both the failure of systemic therapies and the emergence of an aggressive tumor phenotype may be the tumor microenvironment (TME), comprising dynamic and adaptative assortment of extracellular matrix components and non-neoplastic cells, which surround the tumor niche. Accumulating evidence shows that the TME can simultaneously support both tumor growth and metastasis and contribute to a certain state of resistance to treatment. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the TME of GEP-NETs and discuss the current therapeutic agents that target GEP-NETs and those that could be of interest in the (near) future.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1530/ERC-18-0025, hdl.handle.net/1765/110301
Journal Endocrine - Related Cancer
Citation
Cuny, T, de Herder, W.W, Barlier, A, & Hofland, L.J. (2018). Role of the tumor microenvironment in digestive neuroendocrine tumors. Endocrine - Related Cancer (Vol. 25, pp. R519–R544). doi:10.1530/ERC-18-0025