Imaging-guided precision medicine in non-resectable gastro-entero-pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: A step-by-step approach

Eur J Radiol. 2020 Jan;122:108743. doi: 10.1016/j.ejrad.2019.108743. Epub 2019 Nov 12.


The majority of gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are diagnosed at a non-resectable stage due to non-specific clinical syndromes, late manifestations from mass effects, or incidental detection of a clinically silent disease. Management strategies include curative or cytoreduction surgery, imaging-guided intervention, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radionuclide therapies. In this step-by-step review, we provide a structured approach for standardized reading and reporting of medical imaging studies covering content and terminology. This review explains which imaging studies should be used for different NETs and what should be reported when interpreting these studies. This standardized data collection guide should enable precision medicine for the management of patients with GEP-NETs of neuroectodermal origin: gastrointestinal-NETs (giNETs) and pancreatic NETs (pNETs). To improve outcomes from GEP-NETs, it contains a comprehensive evaluation of imaging aids for determining surgical non-resectability, and serves as a surrogate measure for tumor differentiation and proliferation, assessing the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of the tumor sites with prognostic and therapeutic implications.

Keywords: Neuroendocrine tumors; PET-CT; Somatostatin receptors; Theranostics; Unresectability.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytoreduction Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / surgery*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Precision Medicine / methods*
  • Prognosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / therapy

Supplementary concepts

  • Gastro-enteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumor