These tumors form in hormone-creating cells, or islet cells, of the pancreas. Tumors that form in islet cells are called islet cell tumors, pancreatic endocrine tumors, or pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, also called pancreatic NETs or PNETs. When pancreatic NETs are malignant, they are called pancreatic endocrine cancer or islet cell carcinoma.
Most pancreatic NETs are functional tumors.
- Functional tumors make extra quantities of hormones, such as gastrin, insulin, and glucagon, that cause signs and symptoms.
- Nonfunctional tumors do not make extra hormones. Signs and symptoms are precipitated by the tumor as it spreads and grows. Most nonfunctional tumors are malignant, or cancerous.
Types of functional pancreatic NETs
This is a tumor that grows in cells that make gastrin. Gastrin is a hormone that helps digest food by causing the stomach to release an acid.
This tumor forms in cells that produce insulin. Insulin controls the amount of glucose or sugar in the blood. It moves glucose into the cells to produce energy.
This tumor forms in cells that manufacture glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that boosts the amount of glucose in your blood. It causes the liver to break down glycogen.
VIPoma is a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor which secretes vasoactive intestinal peptide. It may also be called Verner-Morrison syndrome.
Found in cells that make somatostatin, these are rare neuroendocrine tumors that arise in the pancreas.
Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?
Advanced care that improves outcomes. At our center, patients experience survival rates up to 14 percent higher than national averages for early- and late-stage pancreatic cancer. We provide more precise diagnosis and treatment for your exact cancer so you can experience the best possible outcomes and the least potential negative side effects.
One of few Pancreatic Cancer Research Institutes in the United States. You have increased access to leading-edge treatments and additional resources for patients and families.
Advanced radiation oncology tools. Sylvester is one of only five medical centers in the country with ViewRay™ — MRI-guided radiation therapy. Our RapidArc® radiotherapy system delivers intensity modulated external radiation therapy (IMRT). These tools lead to more efficient and effective treatments, shorter treatment times, pinpoint accuracy in tumor targeting, and less damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
More cancer clinical trials than any other South Florida hospital. If appropriate for your cancer and stage, our clinical trials provide you with easy access the very newest ways to treat and potentially cure your cancer.
Multidisciplinary care teams. Your care team is made up of experts in all aspects of your exact type of cancer. All of your physicians, nurses and more collaborate to save lives.