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Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (PNETs) might occur as a non-familial isolated endocrinopathy or as part of a complex hereditary syndrome, such as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1). MEN1 is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by the combined occurrence of PNETs with tumours of the parathyroids and anterior pituitary. Treatments for primary PNETs include surgery. Treatments for non-resectable PNETs and metastases include biotherapy (for example, somatostatin analogues, inhibitors of receptors and monoclonal antibodies), chemotherapy and radiological therapy. All these treatments are effective for PNETs in patients without MEN1; however, there is a scarcity of clinical trials reporting the efficacy of the same treatments of PNETs in patients with MEN1. Treatment of PNETs in patients with MEN1 is challenging owing to the concomitant development of other tumours, which might have metastasized. In recent years, preclinical studies have identified potential new therapeutic targets for treating MEN1-associated neuroendocrine tumours (including PNETs), and these include epigenetic modification, the β-catenin-wingless (WNT) pathway, Hedgehog signalling, somatostatin receptors and MEN1 gene replacement therapy. This Review discusses these advances.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Rev Endocrinol

Publication Date





216 - 227