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Types of Neuroendocrine Tumors

Male doctor talking to male patient

Penn Medicine's Neuroendocrine Tumor Program treats all types of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).

Types of neuroendocrine tumors include:

  • Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs): Although rare, these are the most common tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. They include:
    • Alimentary tract carcinoid tumors: GEP-NETs occuring in the passageway through which food passes through the body.
    • Pancreatic endocrine tumors (PETs): Also called islet cell cancer, these tumors form in neuroendocrine cells in the pancreas.
  • Pheochromocytomas/paragangliomas (PHEOs): These tumors affect the adrenal glands, which are located on top of each kidney. Pheochromocytomas form in the center of the adrenal gland, while paragangliomas form on the outside of the adrenal gland.
  • Other neuroendocrine tumors (NETs): NETs can develop anywhere in the body, as benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), fast- or slow-growing. NETs can be functional or non-functional. Functional NETs produce hormones, which cause certain symptoms in the body. Non-functional NETs do not produce hormones or cause symptoms.

At Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center, we offer one of the only dedicated neuroendocrine tumor programs in the country with the combined expertise to treat both GEP-NETs and PHEOs. Our program is the first and only one of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region.