Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors

Elizabeth Batcher, Paul Madaj, Andrew G. Gianoukakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) are rare neoplasms representing <5% of all pancreatic malignancies with an estimated incidence of 1-1.5 cases/100,000. PNETs are broadly classified as either functional or nonfunctional. Functional PNETs include insulinomas, gastrinomas, vasoactive intestinal peptideomas, glucagonomas, and somatostatinomas. The clinical manifestations associated with these tumors are the result of excessive hormonal secretion and action. The functional nature of these tumors makes pancreatic hormone testing critical not only for initial diagnosis but also for follow-up, because they are important tumor markers. Nonfunctional PNETs typically remain clinically silent until a substantial mass effect occurs. Although the majority of PNETs occur sporadically, it is important to recognize that these tumors may be associated with a variety of familial syndromes and in many cases genetic testing of PNET patients is warranted. This article familiarizes the reader with the clinical presentation and the biochemical, radiologic, and genetic testing indicated for diagnosis and follow-up of patients with PNET.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalEndocrine Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Gastrinoma
  • Glucagonoma
  • Insulinoma
  • Neuroendocrine tumor
  • Somatostatinoma
  • VIPoma


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