Symptoms and Quality of Life in Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumours

Sebastian Kaupp-Roberts,1 Rajaventhan Srirajaskanthan,2 *John K. Ramage1,2

1. Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Hampshire Hospitals  NHS Foundation Trust, Basingstoke, UK
2. Neuroendocrine Tumour Service, Institute of Liver Studies, King’s College Hospital, London, UK
*Correspondence to john.ramage@hhft.nhs.uk

Disclosure: No potential conflicts of interest.
Received: 28.11.14 Accepted: 26.01.15
Citation: EMJ Oncol. 2015;3[1]:34-40.

Abstract

Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (GEP-NETs) have the ability to induce symptoms either by their direct mass effect on local tissues (symptoms such as pain, bowel obstruction, obstructive  jaundice, and bleeding), or by the ectopic secretion of bioactive compounds. GEP-NETs are frequently associated with significant diagnostic delays, and metastatic disease is often a feature at initial  presentation. Quality of life (QoL) research in GEP-NETs is a comparatively new field, with a disease- specific QoL questionnaire, the QLQ-GINET21, having been fully validated only as recently as 2013. It has been reliably demonstrated to date that diarrhoea, fatigue, and flushing are the symptoms provoking  the greatest decline in patient QoL. Furthermore, depression is highly prevalent in the GEP-NET  population. This paper reviews current understanding and potential future developments in this field.

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