Treatments for neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)

If you have a neuroendocrine tumour (NET), your healthcare team will create a treatment plan just for you. It will be based on your health and specific information about the cancer. When deciding which treatments to offer for a NET, your healthcare team will consider:

  • where the cancer started
  • if the cancer has spread and where it has spread
  • the grade
  • the stage
  • whether the tumour makes and releases hormones (is functional) or not (is non-functional)
  • other health conditions you have
  • your personal preferences (what you want)

Expert review and references

Surgery for neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)

Surgery is usually used to treat neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). Most people with NETs benefit from surgery when it can be done. The type of surgery you have depends mainly on where the cancer is located.

Drug therapy for neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)

Biological therapy is commonly used to treat neuroendocrine cancer. It is also called biotherapy or biological response modifiers (BRMs).

Radiation therapy for neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)

Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to destroy cancer cells. It is not usually used to treat neuroendocrine tumours (NETs). If used, it is usually when the cancer has spread (metastasized).

Liver directed therapy for neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)

If neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) spread, they often spread to the liver (called liver metastases). Liver directed therapy directly targets the cancer in the liver and is often used to treat NETs that have spread to the liver. Liver directed therapy is mainly used when surgery can't be done.

Follow-up after treatment for neuroendocrine tumours (NETs)

Neuroendocrine cancer behaves differently in each person, and a standard follow-up schedule would not work for everyone. People with neuroendocrine cancer should talk to their doctor about a follow-up plan that suits their individual situation. Follow-up care is often shared among the cancer specialists, such as the surgeon, oncologist and endocrinologist, and your family doctor.