Your neuroendocrine system has cells that have traits similar to nerve cells and to hormone-producing cells of your endocrine glands. These cells are distributed throughout your body within certain organs. Neuroendocrine cells can develop into tumors, many of which grow slowly and others that can be very aggressive and spread to other parts of your body (metastasize).

Neuroendocrine tumors are rare and develop most commonly in the lungs, appendix, small intestine (duodenum), rectum and pancreas. Most neuroendocrine tumors start in the digestive tract, as it has more neuroendocrine cells than any other part of your body. Symptoms and treatment depend on the type of tumor, including where it grows, whether it produces excess hormones, how aggressive it is and whether it has spread.

  • Expertise and experience. An internationally recognized center for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors, Mayo Clinic can provide the expertise and experience you need.
  • Teamwork. Specialists at Mayo Clinic are dedicated to providing the most appropriate treatment for your neuroendocrine tumor. Because of the different types and locations of neuroendocrine tumors, treatment can be extremely complex and varied. Mayo specialists in oncology, surgery, radiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and other areas work together to diagnose and treat all types of neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, recognizing scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Types

There are many types of neuroendocrine tumors, such as:

  • Carcinoid tumors of the lung or intestinal tract
  • Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (PNET), also known as islet cell cancer
  • Medullary thyroid carcinoma
  • Merkel cell carcinoma, also known as neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin
  • Pheochromocytoma of the adrenal gland
  • Small cell carcinoma of locations such as the lung or cervix
  • Large cell carcinoid tumor, most commonly of the lung

Learn more about carcinoid tumors, medullary thyroid carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and pheochromocytoma.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks No. 1 for diabetes and endocrinology in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked high performing for diabetes and endocrinology by U.S. News & World Report.

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At Mayo Clinic in Arizona, specialists in oncology, surgery, radiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and other areas work together to diagnose and treat all types of neuroendocrine tumors.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

At Mayo Clinic in Florida, specialists in oncology, surgery, radiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and other areas work together to diagnose and treat all types of neuroendocrine tumors.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

At Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, specialists in oncology, surgery, radiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and other areas work together to diagnose and treat all types of neuroendocrine tumors.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Neuroendocrine tumors are uncommon but serious. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center scientists are studying imaging technologies that may improve the diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors and help to monitor how well treatment is working.

Investigators at Mayo Clinic play key leadership roles in research programs in neuroendocrine disorders. Examples of neuroendocrine tumor research at Mayo Clinic include:

  • Treatment of carcinoid tumors in people with progressive metastatic disease using targeted therapies
  • The abnormal function (pathophysiology) of neuroendocrine disorders
  • The relationship between nutritional disorders and neuroendocrine factors

Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo doctors on neuroendocrine tumors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Jun. 27, 2013