Small Intestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors: Clinical Studies, Novel Serum Biomarkers and Sensitivity to Cytotoxic and Targeted Agents
- Location: Rosénsalen, Akademiska sjukhuset, ing 95-96, Uppsala
- Doctoral student: Daskalakis, Kosmas
- About the dissertation
- Organiser: Endokrinkirurgi
- Contact person: Daskalakis, Kosmas
The aim of this thesis was to investigate clinical aspects of patients with advanced and/or disseminated disease with regard to clinical signs and management of abdominal fibrosis, the role of locoregional surgery and liver transplantation, as well as the ex vivo sensitivity of tumor samples to cytotoxic and targeted agents.
Small Intestinal Neuroendocrine Tumors (SI-NETs) are indolent neoplasms with an increasing annual incidence of approximately 1/100 000 people. They are often diagnosed at a late stage, restricting treatment efficacy. The aim of this thesis was to investigate clinical aspects of patients with advanced and/or disseminated disease with regard to clinical signs and management of abdominal fibrosis, the role of locoregional surgery and liver transplantation, as well as the ex vivo sensitivity of tumor samples to cytotoxic and targeted agents. Additionally, novel serum biomarkers for the diagnosis and prognosis of SI-NETs were investigated. In Paper I, abdominal fibrosis induced by serotonin and other cytokines from tumor cells, was associated with clinically significant symptoms of intestinal ischemia and/or obstructive uropathy, and was linked to advanced disease. Prompt recognition and minimally invasive intervention with superior mesenteric vein stenting and/or percutaneous nephrostomy and J stent treatment were effective in disease palliation. Paper II challenged the role of prophylactic, upfront locoregional surgery in Stage IV, which conferred no survival advantage in asymptomatic SI-NET patients. The option of delayed surgery as needed seemed to be comparable in all the outcomes examined, whilst also offering the advantage of fewer re-operations for intestinal obstruction in patients with already disseminated disease. Paper III confirmed that most young patients (<65 years) with SI-NET and liver metastases had a favorable survival with standardized multimodality treatment and that survival figures reported after liver transplantation for NETs do not surpass these figures. In Paper IV, 145 biomarkers were analyzed in blood serum using two different multiplex proximity assays. Subsequent ELISA and immunohistochemical analyses identified DcR3, TFF3 and midkine as novel serum biomarkers for SI-NETs. In Paper V, SI-NET samples were profiled with respect to sensitivity ex vivo to a panel of standard chemotherapeutics and targeted agents using a short-term total cell kill assay. SI-NETs exhibited variable but generally intermediate sensitivity ex vivo compared with other cancer diagnoses, calling for individualized selection of therapy.