Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are rare epithelial neoplasms with neuroendocrine differentiation that most commonly originate in the lungs and gastrointestinal tract. Many patients have advanced disease not amenable to surgery or local management. Some tumors also secrete amines, such as serotonin, that lead to syndromes of hormone excess, such as diarrhea and flushing. Thus, management of patients with NETs often requires a dual approach, including hormone symptom management and systemic tumor control. Somatostatin analogues have long been a mainstay of managing the hormone-related symptoms, and increasing evidence also supports their use for tumor control in patients with well-differentiated NETs. This article reviews the role of somatostatin analogues in the treatment of NETs.
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