Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are increasing in incidence. Incidental NETs that may have little clinical significance, such as gastric and rectal primaries, are often identified because of increased screening efforts and advanced imaging modalities. Although NETs are biologically indolent cancers, many patients present with incurable metastatic disease to the liver at initial diagnosis. Some literature suggests a delay averaging almost 5 years in making the correct diagnosis based on clinical symptoms. Although surgical resection offers the only potentially curative therapy, liver-directed therapies, such as embolization and ablation, offer effective alternatives to control symptoms and potentially impact overall survival. This article reviews the latest liver-directed approaches to the management of advanced NETs.
Natalie B. Jones, Manisha H. Shah and Mark Bloomston
Dwight H. Owen, Bhavana Konda, Jennifer Sipos, Tom Liu, Amy Webb, Matthew D. Ringel, Cynthia D. Timmers and Manisha H. Shah
BRAF V600E mutations occur in approximately 40% of all patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) and are associated with a worse prognosis in population studies. Treatment with single-agent BRAF inhibitors can result in nondurable partial responses (PRs) in clinical trials, but resistance inevitably develops. The mechanisms of resistance are not completely understood, but in non-thyroid tumors harboring BRAF V600E mutations, resistance has been ascribed to concurrent or acquired mutations in MEK1/2, RAC1, KRAS, and NRAS. This case report describes a patient with radioactive iodine–refractory metastatic PTC treated in a clinical trial with combination BRAF and MEK inhibition who achieved a durable PR. At time of progression, biopsy revealed an acquired KRAS G12V–activating mutation. The patient subsequently went on to have a PR to cabozantinib therapy in the clinical trial. This is the first reported case of an acquired KRAS-activating mutation that developed during treatment with BRAF and MEK inhibition in a patient with BRAF-mutated PTC. The KRAS mutation was also detected in peripheral blood samples taken as part of the trial, indicating that resistant mutations may be identified through noninvasive means. The identification of resistant mutations in patients at time of progression is necessary to identify possible therapeutic options including potential clinical trials.
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01723202
Michelle C. Nguyen, Manisha H. Shah, David A. Liebner, Floor J. Backes, John Phay and Lawrence A. Shirley
Therapeutic agents targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 axis have shown durable clinical responses in patients with various cancer types. Although objective responses are common, intrapatient heterogeneous responses have been described, and the mechanism for the different organ responses remains unknown. We present a series of patients in whom a lack of response was noted solely in the adrenal glands. This is the first case series describing 3 patients with heterogeneous patterns of response to pembrolizumab with progression of adrenal metastatic disease despite objective response (complete or partial response) in all other sites of metastatic disease. Two patients, one with melanoma and one with uterine carcinosarcoma, underwent robotic adrenalectomy for enlarging adrenal metastases. An additional patient with melanoma underwent laparotomy with attempted resection, but infiltration of the adrenal tumor into the inferior vena cava prohibited safe excision. This report provides additional insight into the heterogeneous patterns of disease response to anti–PD-1 therapy, highlighting the adrenal gland as a potential sanctuary site for this immunotherapy. These cases display the potential benefit of early surgical resection in this scenario and the pitfalls of delaying referral to a surgeon for assessment of operative intervention.
Jarred Burkart, Dwight Owen, Manisha H. Shah, Sherif R. Z. Abdel-Misih, Sameek Roychowdhury, Robert Wesolowski, Sigurdis Haraldsdottir, Julie W. Reeser, Eric Samorodnitsky, Amy Smith and Bhavana Konda
Mutations in the RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK pathway leading to constitutive activation and uncontrolled cellular growth have been identified in various human malignancies, making this pathway a target for potential therapeutics. The activating BRAFV600E mutation is one well-characterized oncogenic mutation that has been described and targeted with clinical success in various malignancies, including melanoma and hairy cell leukemia. Although BRAF-directed treatments have yielded clinical benefit in a subset of tumor types, such as melanoma, thyroid cancer, and lung cancer, BRAF inhibition fails to confer a clinical benefit in colon cancer. Identification of patients for whom BRAF inhibition may produce clinically meaningful outcomes is imperative. The incidence of BRAF mutations in neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) is estimated to be 5% to 10%. A recent case series demonstrated benefit in targeting the BRAFV600E mutation in metastatic high-grade rectal NECs. Combination BRAF and MEK inhibition is known to yield improved outcomes compared with BRAF inhibition alone in melanoma. This report presents 2 patients with high-grade colorectal NECs who had different responses to treatment with combined BRAF/MEK inhibition after experiencing disease progression through first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. One patient experienced an excellent initial response to therapy before ultimately experiencing progression, and in the other patient initially had stable disease before eventually experiencing progression. These cases highlight the complicated role BRAF mutations play in gastrointestinal NECs, and the need for further research to identify not only patients who may benefit from BRAF-directed therapies but also strategies to avoid development of resistance.
Matthew H. Kulke, Al B. Benson III, Emily Bergsland, Jordan D. Berlin, Lawrence S. Blaszkowsky, Michael A. Choti, Orlo H. Clark, Gerard M. Doherty, James Eason, Lyska Emerson, Paul F. Engstrom, Whitney S. Goldner, Martin J. Heslin, Fouad Kandeel, Pamela L. Kunz, Boris W. Kuvshinoff II, Jeffrey F. Moley, Venu G. Pillarisetty, Leonard Saltz, David E. Schteingart, Manisha H. Shah, Stephen Shibata, Jonathan R. Strosberg, Jean-Nicolas Vauthey, Rebekah White, James C. Yao, Deborah A. Freedman-Cass and Mary A. Dwyer
Neuroendocrine tumors comprise a broad family of tumors, the most common of which are carcinoid and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. The NCCN Neuroendocrine Tumors Guidelines discuss the diagnosis and management of both sporadic and hereditary neuroendocrine tumors. Most of the recommendations pertain to well-differentiated, low- to intermediate-grade tumors. This updated version of the NCCN Guidelines includes a new section on pathology for diagnosis and reporting and revised recommendations for the surgical management of neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas.
Matthew H. Kulke, Manisha H. Shah, Al B. Benson III, Emily Bergsland, Jordan D. Berlin, Lawrence S. Blaszkowsky, Lyska Emerson, Paul F. Engstrom, Paul Fanta, Thomas Giordano, Whitney S. Goldner, Thorvardur R. Halfdanarson, Martin J. Heslin, Fouad Kandeel, Pamela L. Kunz, Boris W. Kuvshinoff II, Christopher Lieu, Jeffrey F. Moley, Gitonga Munene, Venu G. Pillarisetty, Leonard Saltz, Julie Ann Sosa, Jonathan R. Strosberg, Jean-Nicolas Vauthey, Christopher Wolfgang, James C. Yao, Jennifer Burns and Deborah Freedman-Cass
Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) comprise a broad family of tumors that may or may not be associated with symptoms attributable to hormonal hypersecretion. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology for Neuroendocrine Tumors discuss the diagnosis and management of both sporadic and hereditary NETs. This selection from the guidelines focuses on sporadic NETs of the pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, lung, and thymus.
Manisha H. Shah, Whitney S. Goldner, Thorvardur R. Halfdanarson, Emily Bergsland, Jordan D. Berlin, Daniel Halperin, Jennifer Chan, Matthew H. Kulke, Al B. Benson III, Lawrence S. Blaszkowsky, Jennifer Eads, Paul F. Engstrom, Paul Fanta, Thomas Giordano, Jin He, Martin J. Heslin, Gregory P. Kalemkerian, Fouad Kandeel, Sajid A. Khan, Wajih Zaheer Kidwai, Pamela L. Kunz, Boris W. Kuvshinoff II, Christopher Lieu, Venu G. Pillarisetty, Leonard Saltz, Julie Ann Sosa, Jonathan R. Strosberg, Craig A. Sussman, Nikolaos A. Trikalinos, Nataliya A. Uboha, Jonathan Whisenant, Terence Wong, James C. Yao, Jennifer L. Burns, Ndiya Ogba and Griselda Zuccarino-Catania
The NCCN Guidelines for Neuroendocrine and Adrenal Tumors provide recommendations for the management of adult patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs), adrenal gland tumors, pheochromocytomas, and paragangliomas. Management of NETs relies heavily on the site of the primary NET. These NCCN Guidelines Insights summarize the management options and the 2018 updates to the guidelines for locoregional advanced disease, and/or distant metastasis originating from gastrointestinal tract, bronchopulmonary, and thymus primary NETs.