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Open AccessReview

Specific and Non-Specific Biomarkers in Neuroendocrine Gastroenteropancreatic Tumors

Section of Medical Pathophysiology, Food Science and Endocrinology, Dept. of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, 00165 Rome, Italy
Internal Medicine, Angioloni Hospital, San Piero in Bagno, 47026 Forlì-Cesena, Italy
Endocrinology Unit, Regina Elena National Cancer Institute IRCCS, 00144 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2019, 11(8), 1113;
Received: 3 July 2019 / Revised: 31 July 2019 / Accepted: 2 August 2019 / Published: 4 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Biomarkers in Cancers)
PDF [297 KB, uploaded 7 August 2019]


The diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) is a challenging task: Symptoms are rarely specific, and clinical manifestations are often evident only when metastases are already present. However, several bioactive substances secreted by NETs can be included for diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive purposes. Expression of these substances differs between different NETs according to the tumor hormone production. Gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) NETs originate from the diffuse neuroendocrine system of the gastrointestinal tract and pancreatic islets cells: These tumors may produce many non-specific and specific substances, such as chromogranin A, insulin, gastrin, glucagon, and serotonin, which shape the clinical manifestations of the NETs. To provide an up-to-date reference concerning the different biomarkers, as well as their main limitations, we reviewed and summarized existing literature. View Full-Text
Keywords: neuroendocrine tumors; biomarkers; gastroenteropancreatic tumors; prognostic markers; diagnosis neuroendocrine tumors; biomarkers; gastroenteropancreatic tumors; prognostic markers; diagnosis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Sansone, A.; Lauretta, R.; Vottari, S.; Chiefari, A.; Barnabei, A.; Romanelli, F.; Appetecchia, M. Specific and Non-Specific Biomarkers in Neuroendocrine Gastroenteropancreatic Tumors. Cancers 2019, 11, 1113.

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