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Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (Islet Cell Tumors) Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options for Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors

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Insulinoma

Treatment of insulinoma may include the following:

  • For one small tumor in the head or tail of the pancreas, treatment is usually surgery to remove the tumor.
  • For one large tumor in the head of the pancreas that cannot be removed by surgery, treatment is usually pancreatoduodenectomy (surgery to remove the head of the pancreas, the gallbladder, nearby lymph nodes and part of the stomach, small intestine, and bile duct).
  • For one large tumor in the body or tail of the pancreas, treatment is usually a distal pancreatectomy (surgery to remove the body and tail of the pancreas).
  • For more than one tumor in the pancreas, treatment is usually surgery to remove any tumors in the head of the pancreas and the body and tail of the pancreas.
  • For tumors that cannot be removed by surgery, treatment may include the following:
    • Combination chemotherapy.
    • Palliative drug therapy to decrease the amount of insulin made by the pancreas.
    • Hormone therapy.
    • Radiofrequency ablation or cryosurgical ablation.
  • For cancer that has spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body, treatment may include the following:
    • Surgery to remove the cancer.
    • Radiofrequency ablation or cryosurgical ablation, if the cancer cannot be removed by surgery.
  • If the cancer mostly affects the liver and the patient has severe symptoms from hormones or from the size of tumor, treatment may include:
    • Hepatic arterial occlusion, with or without systemic chemotherapy.
    • Chemoembolization, with or without systemic chemotherapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with insulinoma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Glucagonoma

Treatment may include the following:

  • For one small tumor in the head or tail of the pancreas, treatment is usually surgery to remove the tumor.
  • For one large tumor in the head of the pancreas that cannot be removed by surgery, treatment is usually pancreatoduodenectomy (surgery to remove the head of the pancreas, the gallbladder, nearby lymph nodes and part of the stomach, small intestine, and bile duct).
  • For more than one tumor in the pancreas, treatment is usually surgery to remove the tumor or surgery to remove the body and tail of the pancreas.
  • For tumors that cannot be removed by surgery, treatment may include the following:
    • Combination chemotherapy.
    • Hormone therapy.
    • Radiofrequency ablation or cryosurgical ablation.
  • For cancer that has spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body, treatment may include the following:
    • Surgery to remove the cancer.
    • Radiofrequency ablation or cryosurgical ablation, if the cancer cannot be removed by surgery.
  • If the cancer mostly affects the liver and the patient has severe symptoms from hormones or from the size of tumor, treatment may include:
    • Hepatic arterial occlusion, with or without systemic chemotherapy.
    • Chemoembolization, with or without systemic chemotherapy.
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