Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms


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Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms

Endocrine system

Adrenal gland disorders

Congenital adrenal hyperplasia

Primary adrenal insufficiency

Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome


Adrenal cortical carcinoma

Cushing syndrome

Conn syndrome

Thyroid gland disorders

Thyroglossal duct cyst


Graves disease

Thyroid eye disease (NORD)

Toxic multinodular goiter

Thyroid storm


Euthyroid sick syndrome

Hashimoto thyroiditis

Subacute granulomatous thyroiditis

Riedel thyroiditis

Postpartum thyroiditis

Thyroid cancer

Parathyroid gland disorders





Pancreatic disorders

Diabetes mellitus

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetic nephropathy

Pituitary gland disorders


Pituitary adenoma






Growth hormone deficiency

Pituitary apoplexy

Sheehan syndrome


Constitutional growth delay

Diabetes insipidus

Syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion (SIADH)

Gonadal dysfunction

Precocious puberty

Delayed puberty

Premature ovarian failure

Polycystic ovary syndrome

Androgen insensitivity syndrome

Kallmann syndrome

5-alpha-reductase deficiency

Polyglandular syndromes

Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 (NORD)

Endocrine tumors

Multiple endocrine neoplasia

Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

Carcinoid syndrome



Opsoclonus myoclonus syndrome (NORD)

Endocrine system pathology review

Adrenal insufficiency: Pathology review

Adrenal masses: Pathology review

Hyperthyroidism: Pathology review

Hypothyroidism: Pathology review

Thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer: Pathology review

Parathyroid disorders and calcium imbalance: Pathology review

Diabetes mellitus: Pathology review

Cushing syndrome and Cushing disease: Pathology review

Pituitary tumors: Pathology review

Hypopituitarism: Pathology review

Diabetes insipidus and SIADH: Pathology review

Multiple endocrine neoplasia: Pathology review

Neuroendocrine tumors of the gastrointestinal system: Pathology review


Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms


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High Yield Notes

13 pages


Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms

of complete

External References

First Aid



Content Reviewers

Rishi Desai, MD, MPH


Brittany Norton, MFA

Jahnavi Narayanan, MBBS

Evan Debevec-McKenney

Tanner Marshall, MS

With pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms, neuroendocrine refers to pancreatic cells which release hormones in response to signals from the nerves, and neoplasm refers to a cancer.

So, pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasm is a cancer of neuroendocrine cells that are within the pancreas.

They can also be called pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, or just panNETs for short.

In addition to endocrine cells, the pancreas also has exocrine cells, which make up a majority of the gland.

Most pancreatic cancers arise from exocrine cells and they’re called adenocarcinomas, whereas only a minority arise from panNETs.

The pancreas is a long, skinny gland the length of a dollar bill which sits to the left of the duodenum and behind the stomach, in the upper abdomen, or the epigastric region.

It plays two main roles - there’s the exocrine part of the pancreas which has acinar cells that make digestive enzymes that are secreted into the duodenum to help digest food.

There’s also the endocrine part of the pancreas which has a few different types of islet cells, or neuroendocrine cells, each of which make different hormones.

These neuroendocrine cells are present in clusters, or islands, called islets of Langerhans.

The largest group of cells are the beta (β) cells which secrete insulin.

Insulin mainly lowers the blood glucose levels by transporting glucose into the cells, and also pushes potassium into cells, which decreases potassium in the blood.

Another group are the alpha (α) cells which secrete glucagon, a hormone that does exactly the opposite of insulin, it raises the blood glucose levels by getting the liver to generate glucose from amino acids and lipids, and to break down glycogen into glucose.

There are also Delta cells which secrete somatostatin, which decreases the release of other hormones, including insulin, glucagon, and serotonin.


Pancreatic neuroendocrine Tumors (PNETs) are a type of tumor that arises in the endocrine tissue of the pancreas. These tumors include insulinomas, gastrinoma, glucagonoma, and VIPomas, and secrete hormones including insulin, gastrin, glucagon, and vasoactive intestinal peptide respectively. Symptoms of PNETs may include abdominal pain, weight loss, and changes in bowel habits. Treatment options may involve drugs like somatostatin and surgery.


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  2. "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, Twentieth Edition (Vol.1 & Vol.2)" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  3. "Pathophysiology of Disease: An Introduction to Clinical Medicine 8E" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  4. "CURRENT Medical Diagnosis and Treatment 2020" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2019)
  5. "The Pathologic Classification of Neuroendocrine Tumors" Pancreas (2010)
  6. "Update on pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors" PubMed (2014)

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