Novel targets for the treatment and palliation of gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors

Curr Opin Investig Drugs. 2008 Jun;9(6):576-82.


Gastrointestinal (GI) neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), for example, carcinoids, are rare neoplasms characterized by the production of bioactive markers, such as 5-HT and chromogranin A. With the exception of surgery, there are limited curative and palliative treatments available for this type of tumor. Therefore, there is a great need to develop new pharmacological strategies to reduce tumor burden and control symptoms in patients with metastatic carcinoid tumors and the carcinoid syndrome. In this review, several pathways thought to be involved in GI NET carcinogenesis are discussed, and novel approaches that are currently in development to target these pathways are highlighted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / genetics
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / drug therapy
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / genetics
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / therapy*
  • Palliative Care*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents