Pharmacotherapeutic Management of Well-Differentiated Neuroendocrine Tumors in Older Patients: Current Status and Potential Therapies

Drugs Aging. 2022 Apr;39(4):257-269. doi: 10.1007/s40266-022-00934-1. Epub 2022 Mar 25.


Neuroendocrine tumors are a rare and heterogenous group of neoplasms that arise from hormone-producing cells throughout the body, with the greatest increase in incidence occurring among older adults aged ≥ 65 years. Despite this, there is currently a lack of data regarding the safety and efficacy of systemic treatment for older adults with neuroendocrine tumors. In this review, we provide a synopsis of the current standard-of-care pharmacotherapeutic treatments for neuroendocrine tumors, with an emphasis on available data in older adults. The benefits of various systemic options such as somatostatin analogs, tryptophan hydroxylase inhibition, molecular targeted agents, peptide receptor radionuclide therapy, and chemotherapy were similar between older adults compared to younger patients. However, real-world data regarding tolerance in the older adult population with neuroendocrine tumors are needed. Future development of novel systemic therapies in the neuroendocrine tumor treatment landscape and their inclusion of and potential impact on older adults living with neuroendocrine tumors is warranted.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors* / drug therapy
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors* / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Somatostatin / pharmacology
  • Somatostatin / therapeutic use


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Somatostatin