Dr Heloisa Soares on Barriers to Achieving Positive Outcomes in NETs, What's in Store for the Future

Heloisa Soares, MD, assistant professor, University of New Mexico Cancer Center-Albuquerque, outlines current barriers to achieving positive outcomes in neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and what's in store for the future.

Heloisa Soares, MD, assistant professor, University of New Mexico Cancer Center-Albuquerque, outlines current barriers to achieving positive outcomes in neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and what's in store for the future.

Transcript

What are the biggest barriers to achieving positive outcomes in neuroendocrine tumors?

I think there are a few issues that we have to think of. Number one, patients are diagnosed rather late in the game, so by the time of diagnosis, most patients are already in stage 4 metastatic disease, so the chances of actually curing the disease are much less. We also can do a much better job in terms of paraclinical science. You know, neuroendocrine tumors are very challenging for paraclinical in vitro models, mice models, and things like that. So, once we develop more of that, I think it will be easier to translate research to the bedside.

And then, finally, I think we know we certainly need more attention from funding resources to focus on giving more research money and support for neuroendocrine tumor research so more scientists and physicians can focus on that. I think if we some of this taken care of, I think the advances in neuroendocrine tumor research would be upcoming.

What’s in the future for the treatment of neuroendocrine tumors?

I think just stay tuned for the new therapies that are coming up. There is an exciting trial coming up with cabozantinib. It’s a phase 3 trial that will hopefully give us another option of therapy for patients. If this trial ends up being positive, I think we should look forward to the results of this, which might take several years to come. But, I would encourage patients, if they were given the opportunity to consider participation on this trial, to do so because I think it’s an important trial.

We are also going to be hearing about several trials talking probably about sequencing of treatment in the era of peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT), and we don’t know the right sequence of treatment right now with PRRT, and I think the trials that are being designed and will be conducted in the near future will be very important to help us guide this a little bit more.