Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors care at Mayo Clinic

Why choose Mayo Clinic for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors

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Thorvardur Halfdanarson, M.D., Medical Oncologist, Department of Oncology, Mayo Clinic: What I think Mayo has to offer is really being a full service station, if you will, for all things pancreatic. Where there's really a team approach to diagnosing and treating neuroendocrine tumors.

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We have the expert in neuroendocrine and pancreatic pathologists who can make these diagnoses with surgical oncologists or hepatobiliary surgeons who do these operations all the time.

PNETs, or pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, are less than 10% of pancreatic malignancies, although they are becoming more common and tend to be much slower growing than pancreatic adenocarcinomas. Sometimes these tumors just make hormones and it's the hormones that make you sick, not the tumor itself. Sometimes the tumors just grow to be large and start causing pain.

So changes in the treatment of pancreatic neuron tumors have definitely occurred over the last several years. For the early stage, PNET patients who have small tumors, low-grade tumors as seen on the biopsy, we can sometimes wait and we don't always have to operate. And then most recently we have the PRRT, or the peptide receptor radionuclide therapy, probably the most promising treatment out there. So this treatment results in tumor shrinkage in probably as high as 20% to 30% of the patients. The treatment is well tolerated. It's very safe.

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Patients with neuron tumors who are seen at large volume specialized centers seem to do better than the average patients out there. So I think the treatment at Mayo may result in a better outcome.

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Mayo Clinic doctors are among the most experienced in diagnosing and treating pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, which are very rare.

Each year they care for more than 600 people with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, providing comprehensive care using cutting-edge technology and the latest in treatment advances, including many advances that Mayo Clinic doctors helped develop.

Your Mayo Clinic care team

At Mayo Clinic, you'll receive coordinated care from a team of doctors and health care professionals, including experts who work in the Pancreas Clinic. Mayo Clinic doctors work together to provide you with the best care possible that is tailored to your needs.

Mayo Clinic offers a truly integrated practice, with a variety of specialists regularly working together and meeting to discuss cases. This ensures that you receive comprehensive care that takes into account all of your needs. Your care team carefully weighs all of your treatment options to create a plan that's personalized for you.

Close collaboration among your Mayo Clinic care team members enables them to have your test results available quickly and to coordinate your appointments.

Advanced diagnosis and treatment

Advanced treatments add more options for treating pNETs.

Mayo Clinic doctors have access to the newest radiologic imaging and other diagnostic technology and treatments to improve chances for positive outcomes.

At Mayo Clinic you can expect:

  • A precise diagnosis the first time. Mayo Clinic pathologists are respected for their experience and expertise in diagnosing rare cancers. The latest in laboratory testing can give your care team members the information they need to create a personalized treatment plan that's targeted to your particular tumor.
  • Advanced imaging to carefully plan your treatment. Mayo Clinic offers the latest in imaging technology to help your care team fully understand your condition and select the treatment that is best for you. Radiologists create incredibly detailed images with the latest technology, such as combined PET and MRI scans.
  • Access to all the treatment options. Your team of experts works with you to review all of your options and choose the treatment that best suits your needs and goals. The range of treatments offered to people with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors includes surgery, targeted therapy, chemotherapy, radiofrequency ablation and peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT).
  • The latest treatments. People who seek care at Mayo Clinic have access to the latest treatments, including PRRT with lutetium Lu 177 dotatate (Lutathera). Mayo Clinic doctors participated in the clinical trial that led to the approval of this treatment in the United States.

The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

Expertise and rankings

Mayo Clinic doctors have the knowledge and experience to provide comprehensive care to those with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. At Mayo Clinic, you can expect:

  • Personalized care. At Mayo Clinic, a multidisciplinary group of experts forms a team to care for people with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. This ensures that all your needs are met.
  • Experience you can trust. Mayo Clinic doctors are widely respected for their experience diagnosing and treating rare conditions, including pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. More than 600 people with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors receive care at Mayo Clinic each year.
  • Nationally recognized expertise. Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center meets the strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center. These standards recognize scientific excellence and a multispecialty approach focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Doctors who set the standard for cancer care. Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer Center is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a nonprofit alliance of leading cancer centers dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of cancer care. Mayo Clinic doctors participate in the creation of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines that help medical providers care for people with cancer.
  • Excellence in treatment. Mayo Clinic's campuses in Florida and Minnesota are designated by the National Pancreas Foundation (NPF) as approved NPF Centers — a recognition for high-quality, multidisciplinary care.
  • Access to clinical trials. Mayo Clinic doctors and researchers participate in research cooperatives such as the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, which gives people with cancer access to the latest clinical trials.

Mayo Clinic has been recognized as a top cancer hospital by U.S. News & World Report since it began publishing rankings in 1990. Most recently, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, have been recognized among the top Cancer hospitals in the nation for 2023-2024 by U.S. News & World Report.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

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April 30, 2024

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