Well-established criteria for evaluating the response to treatment and the appropriate followup of individual patients are critical in clinical oncology. The current evidence-based data on these issues in terms of the management of gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) neuroendocrine neoplasms (NEN) are unfortunately limited.
This document by the Italian Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AME) on the criteria for the follow-up of GEP-NEN patients is aimed at providing comprehensive recommendations for everyday clinical practice based on both the best available evidence and the combined opinion of an interdisciplinary panel of experts.
The initial risk stratification of patients with NENs should be performed according to the grading, staging and functional status of the neoplasm and the presence of an inherited syndrome. The evaluation of response to the initial treatment, and to the subsequent therapies for disease progression or recurrence, should be based on a cost-effective, risk-effective and timely use of the appropriate diagnostic resources.
A multidisciplinary evaluation of the response to the treatment is strongly recommended and, at every step in the follow-up, it is mandatory to assess the disease state and the patient performance status, comorbidities, and recent clinical evolution.
Local expertise, available technical resources and the patient preferences should always be evaluated while planning the individual clinical management of GEP-NENs.