Insulinomas are the most common, functioning, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours. The great majority (>90%) of insulinomas are nonmetastatic at presentation and can be surgically cured. The <10% patients with distant (liver-bone) metastases have a median survival of < 2 years. Everolimus and sunitinib have been recently introduced as targeted therapies for metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours. An additional advantage of everolimus in the treatment of patients with metastatic insulinomas is its capability to increase blood glucose levels. Peptide receptor radiotherapy using radiolabelled somatostatin analogues has also been shown to be successful in controlling tumour growth of metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours. In patients with metastatic insulinomas, this therapeutic modality was also effective in controlling hypoglycaemia, even in the presence of tumour regrowth. With the introduction of these new therapeutic modalities, the therapeutic arsenal for the 'tailor-made' approach of patients with metastatic insulinomas is further expanded.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.