Neuroendocrine cancer is very aggressive. It sometimes doubles in size in two to three weeks. Neuroendocrine cancer requires an expert team that acts quickly and always thinks ahead. Treatment should begin as soon as possible for the best outcomes. We try to start treatment within two weeks of your diagnosis. 

Surgery typically isn’t an option for this type of cancer. This is because most neuroendocrine cancer has already spread to other areas of the body before it is found. 

Chemotherapy in combination with immunotherapy is the standard treatment for neuroendocrine cancer. The specific types of chemotherapy and immunotherapy you receive will depend on the kind of neuroendocrine cancer and the areas affected. 

The most common treatment uses platinum chemotherapy. Platinum-based drugs bind to your DNA. They prevent cancer cells from growing and destroy them. You may also receive immunotherapy drugs along with chemotherapy or after chemotherapy. Immunotherapy drugs harness your immune system and get it to fight cancer cells. 

Sometimes treatment for neuroendocrine cancer works for a while and then stops working. We constantly monitor your response to treatment so we can quickly shift to other treatments when needed. You will get regular imaging scans (usually every two months) to check the status of the cancer. 

Currently, there are not any other effective treatments for neuroendocrine cancer. If your treatment stops working, your doctor will talk to you about clinical trials. At Markey, we’re researching many new treatments for neuroendocrine cancer through trials. 

Radiation is not typically used to treat neuroendocrine cancer. Instead, we use external beam radiation to relieve pain or control symptoms of neuroendocrine cancers in the bone and brain.

Learn more about our services by visiting our Radiation Oncology website.

Markey Cancer Center is NCI-designated

The UK Markey Cancer Center was first designated by the National Cancer Institute in 2013 – a distinction that recognizes our extraordinary ability to provide world-class care for our patients. We are the only NCI-designated cancer center in Kentucky and one of only 71 in the nation.

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