For patients with neuroendocrine tumors, there is hope on the horizon. Much research progress has been made in the last few years.
This is a rare cancer, but we have some of the leading researchers right here at Roswell Park. Roswell Park is a large research center where you have access to the new drugs and techniques that are being developed.
Our researchers are looking at ways to block signals between cancer cells. The agents being studied include sorafenib, sunitinib, everolimus and others that target PI-3 kinase, mTOR, VEGF, FGF, PDGF and other pathways.
Combining treatments in new ways shows promise. Researchers are combining novel biological therapies with regional treatments directed to the liver such as transcatheter chemoembolization, or new targeted treatments such as Y-90 labeled spheres.
Our researchers are exploring ways to make existing treatment more tolerable, such as by combining beta-blockers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with sorafenib.
With some new therapies, the aim is to kill the cancer cells or to decrease the blood supply to the tumor. We need to find ways to measure how effectively we’ve accomplished that. RPCI is studying dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI to monitor blood flow to the tumor and measure tumor death.
To get an early indication of whether a patient will respond to treatment, researchers are using Cell Search System, which measures circulating tumor cells, and other validated assays, which measure soluble proteins in a small blood sample.