A hormone made by certain types of cells in the body, mostly (but not limited to) in the gastrointestinal tract. Serotonin helps with various functions, including digestion. Symptoms of (but not limited to) gastrointestinal NETs (GI-NETs) may be caused by an excessive release of serotonin. Not to be confused with serotonin created in the brain.
Medication that copies or mimics the action of the hormone somatostatin. Somatostatin analogues may reduce the symptoms of NETs by stopping the body from making too many hormones. They may lessen flushing of the skin and diarrhea, and help slow tumor growth. Given by injection.
See also octreotide scan – an imaging test used to find certain tumors, including NETs. Radioactive octreotide is injected into a vein and travels through the blood. A radiation-measuring device (gamma camera) detects the radioactive octreotide, and makes pictures showing where the tumor cells are in the body. Also called somatostatin receptor scintigraphy or SRS.
Cells that have specific jobs in the body. They start as unspecialized cells, also known as stem cells, which are present in babies still in the womb. Unspecialized cells can turn into any kind of cell. The DNA in the cell determines the kind of cells they will become. The cells then grow and change shape, becoming Specialized cells.
An oral medication used to treat certain cancers that cannot be removed by surgery, have spread throughout the body (metastasized), or both. This includes pancreatic NETs as well as gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST), a type of cancer of the stomach and bowel, and kidney cancer.
A set of symptoms that occur together. A syndrome may be a sign of a certain disease. Or it may mean there’s an increased chance of developing the disease. For example, hypoglycemia syndrome may be caused by a type of NET called an insulinoma, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome may be caused by a type of NET called a gastrinoma.