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Molecular Markers for Novel Therapeutic Strategies in Pancreatic Endocrine Tumors

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Abstract

Objectives

Pancreatic endocrine tumors (PETs) share numerous features with gastrointestinal neuroendocrine (carcinoid) tumors. Targets of novel therapeutic strategies previously assessed in carcinoid tumors were analyzed in PETs (44 cases).

Methods

Activating mutations in EGFR, KIT, and PDGFRA and nonresponse mutations in KRAS were evaluated. Copy number of EGFR and HER-2/neu was quantified by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Expression of EGFR, PDGFRA, VEGFR1, TGFBR1, Hsp90, SSTR2A, SSTR5, IGF1R, mTOR, and MGMT was measured immunohistochemically.

Results

Elevated EGFR copy number was found in 38% of cases but no KRAS nonresponse mutations. VEGFR1, TGFBR1, PDGFRA, SSTR5, SSTR2A, and IGF1R exhibited the highest levels of expression in the largest percentages of PETs.

Conclusions

Results encourage further research into multidrug strategies incorporating inhibitors targeting IGF1R or Hsp90 and into studies of axitinib combined with conventional chemotherapeutics toxic to tumor cells in persistent growth arrest.

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