Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms: current development, challenges, and clinical perspectives

Mil Med Res. 2024 Jun 4;11(1):35. doi: 10.1186/s40779-024-00535-6.


Neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) are highly heterogeneous and potentially malignant tumors arising from secretory cells of the neuroendocrine system. Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (GEP-NENs) are the most common subtype of NENs. Historically, GEP-NENs have been regarded as infrequent and slow-growing malignancies; however, recent data have demonstrated that the worldwide prevalence and incidence of GEP-NENs have increased exponentially over the last three decades. In addition, an increasing number of studies have proven that GEP-NENs result in a limited life expectancy. These findings suggested that the natural biology of GEP-NENs is more aggressive than commonly assumed. Therefore, there is an urgent need for advanced researches focusing on the diagnosis and management of patients with GEP-NENs. In this review, we have summarized the limitations and recent advancements in our comprehension of the epidemiology, clinical presentations, pathology, molecular biology, diagnosis, and treatment of GEP-NETs to identify factors contributing to delays in diagnosis and timely treatment of these patients.

Keywords: Chemotherapy; Diagnosis; Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (GEP-NENs); Immunotherapy; Neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors* / diagnosis
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors* / epidemiology
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors* / therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / therapy

Supplementary concepts

  • Gastro-enteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumor