Neuroendocrine Tumor Program : Treatments

Ochsner believes no one treatment regimen can successfully manage all patients at all stages of their disease. Many, if not most, patients will derive benefit from a combined approach, considering all therapeutic options, both non-surgical and surgical. Ochsner strives to offer the most effective treatment options for its patients that utilize the combined experiences of medical oncology, surgical oncology, transplantation, nutrition and research. This list is not meant to be inclusive, but illustrative of some of the options we recommend.

Medical Management

In arena of medical management, Ochsner Health Center – Kenner offers the following:

  • Targeted therapies
  • Chemotherapy options
  • Clinical trials
  • Investigative agents
  • Naturally occurring anti-tumor agents
  • Biotherapies, such as somatostatin analogs, sandostatin and interferons

Back to the Neuroendocrine Tumor Program Web site. Chemoembolization A chemoembolization involves a catheter that is placed into the liver through an artery. The tumor-bearing area is then injected with a combination of chemotherapeutic agents and a clotting agent to limit the spread of the agent and to occlude the blood supply to the area. Radiotherapy Radiotherapy involves microscopic, radioactive beads that are delivered to tumor-infected area, usually within the liver through a catheter that has been inserted into an artery. Targeted radiolabeled somatostatin analogs This targeted analog procedure involves an intravenous injection of radioactive octreotide or MIBG, usually in high doses, in an effort to bind and irradiate the tumor-infected area. Radiofrequency Ablation This ablation procedure involves a probe that is placed inside a tumor using ultrasound guidance and high-frequency radio waves in an effort to destroy the tumor. The procedure can be performed percutaneously, laparoscopically or as part on an open operation. Aggressive Surgery Some patients are eligible for more aggressive approaches that surgically remove or destroy as much tumor as feasible. Patients might also be candidates for laparoscopic liver resections or other minimally-invasive procedures. Specifically, open procedures may include radiofrequency ablation, resections of the liver, pancreas, diaphragm, lung, resection of the primary tumor, involved lymph nodes or other involved organs. However, sometimes the blood supply to certain organs is encased in tumors. But that can be successfully peeled away from these vessels by Ochsner’s surgeons, thus improving the blood flow and making the patient eligible for an aggressive approach. In certain cases, patients with extensive tumor burdens may need to undergo staged procedures in order to limit any surgical trauma. As such, each operation is individually planned in concert with input from Ochsner’s entire team. Back to the Neuroendocrine Tumor Program Web site. Neoprobe-guided Surgery In some cases where tumors are difficult to locate, Ochsner utilizes radio-guided surgeries, which rely on a handheld gamma probe known as a neoprobe. This device is used in surgery after the patient has received a dose of a radioactive substance, such as octreoscan dye or MIBG, to assist in finding and removing tumors. Nutrition Ochsner believes nutrition is an important part of disease management. Many patients have significant issues with weight loss, diarrhea, abdominal pain or simply have questions about which foods to avoid and which ones to emphasize. The nutrition team at Ochsner Health Center – Kenner includes an oncology nutritionist who has a special focus on the needs of patients with neuroendocrine tumors. Transplantation Liver transplantation is sometimes an option in selected patients with slow-growing tumors confined to the liver. Visit Ochsner's Multi-Organ Transplant Institute to find out more about liver transplantation. Back to the Neuroendocrine Tumor Program Web site.