Neuroendocrine tumor abbreviated as NET is a rare form of tumor, which often takes place from a special type of body cells referred as neuroendocrine cells. These cells possess the traits of both hormones producing and nerve cells while releasing hormones within the blood in response to various signals obtained from the individual’s nervous system. As neuroendocrine tumor takes place from cells responsible to produce hormones, the tumor also produces hormones. Neuroendocrine tumors may develop in almost every area of the body. However, they mainly take place in pancreas, digestive tracts, lungs, rectum, and appendix.
Is Neuroendocrine Tumor A Progressive Disease?
Also known as carcinoid tumors, neuroendocrine tumors are belonging to the category of cancers progressing at a slow pace, as they start out in small size but later on grows as well as spreads slowly.(1)
Alternative Treatment Options/Therapies To Cure Neuroendocrine Tumors
Other than the common treatment option to cure neuroendocrine tumors i.e. surgery to remove the tumor and surrounding areas, medical experts have come up with varieties of alternative treatment options, also called therapies to cure neuroendocrine tumors.
Somatostatin Analogs Treatment: Somatostatin analogs are special types of drugs to control various symptoms associated with neuroendocrine tumors and at the same time, to reduce or limit the growth of tumor cells. Even these analogs types of treatments are helpful in minimizing the requirement of tumor surgeries and other complicated treatment procedures. Doctors give them as vaccinations in an outpatient manner.
Lutathera Treatment: Patients suffering from cancerous based neuroendocrine tumors in their digestive tracts are available with the latest targeted treatment i.e. Lutetium Lu Dotatate i.e. Lutathera, which suits perfectly for adult cancerous neuroendocrine tumor patients. Especially, the treatment option is helpful if any person has cancerous tumor in his/her gastrointestinal tract. Lutathera is a type of Lu-177 labeled peptide of somatostatin. In simple words, it acts as a molecular therapy i.e. Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy. Whenever the drug enters any of the positive somatostatin receptive tumor cells, the radiation emitted from it helps in killing the neuroendocrine tumor or cancerous cells.
Embolization Treatment: Embolization treatment procedure packs any one-two pouch. Accordingly, doctors send anticancer agents directly into the affected tumor. The prime benefit of this procedure is that it reduces the blood supply towards any formed neuroendocrine tumor while starving it effectively and keep the treatment at the site of the problem itself.(2)(3)
Types Of Embolization
Radioembolization: In case of radioembolization, doctors encase a high dosage of radiation within tiny beads and send them directly to tumors via blood vessels responsible to carry blood towards the liver. The beads thus accumulate within the tumor and the isotope emits radiation. In this way, the treatment kills neuroendocrine tumor or cancerous cells and in turn, destroys the surrounding blood vessels responsible for the growth of the tumor.
Chemoembolization: In case of chemoembolization, doctors deliver chemotherapy drugs in high dosages directly to the affected tumor with the help of blood supply and later on, block the affected blood vessels.
Ablation Therapy: Ablation therapy involves the insertion of a probe directly within the neuroendocrine tumor. The energy passes from the prob to eat the tumor cells at temperature higher than the boiling point. In this way, the therapy kills tumor cells without causing any kind of damage to healthy tissues surrounding the tumor. Ablation is thus less invasive as compared to surgery and it is a type of outpatient procedure done by applying heavy sedation.(3)
Types of Ablation Therapy For Neuroendocrine Tumor
- Radiofrequency Ablation, which involves the usage of electrical energy
- Microwave ablation, which utilizes microwave energy
- NanoKnife is the latest and irreversible electroporation technology to destroy neuroendocrine tumor cells with the application of electrical energy. The main benefit of using this technique is that it does not cause any type of injury to critical blood vessels.
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- How Long Will It Take To Recover From Neuroendocrine Tumors & How Long Does The Symptoms Last?
- What Are the Ways To Prevent Neuroendocrine Tumors?
- What Happens To Untreated Neuroendocrine Tumors & When To Go To Doctor?