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NET Tumor Conference to Advance Understanding of Complex, Rare Cancers

Hand holding a zebra-patterned ribbon
Neuroendocrine tumors are sometimes called zebras because, as with a zebra’s stripes, no two tumors are identical.
Article Summary
  • Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is hosting a conference focusing on research and treatment for neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Sylvester researcher Dr. Aman Chauhan hopes the conference raises awareness and catalyzes early diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Dr. Chauhan hopes to build on the burgeoning recognition of the perils of neuroendocrine tumors, which have claimed celebrities like Steve Jobs and Jimmy Buffett.

South Florida clinicians can get the latest information on neuroendocrine tumors, a complex, rare type of cancer, at an upcoming conference provided by Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth—University of Miami Health System, and the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (NANETS).

Register now: The Multidisciplinary Management of NET Disease

“The Multidisciplinary Management of NET Disease” is the focus of the conference to be held Saturday, April 6, at the Newman Alumni Center on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus. The conference is designed for community oncologists and physicians, clinicians and allied health professionals involved in treating patients with neuroendocrine tumors.

Neuroendocrine Tumor Awareness

“Unlike most cancers, neuroendocrine tumors can develop in almost any part of the body,” said conference host Aman Chauhan, M.D., associate professor of medical oncology, leader of Sylvester’s Neuroendocrine Tumor Program and co-director of the Theranostics Program. “Our goal is to raise awareness of this rare disease so patients can be diagnosed at an early stage and benefit from the latest therapies, including clinical trials at Sylvester.” 

Dr. Chauhan said the incidence of neuroendocrine cancers has been growing in the past decade, claiming celebrities like singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, Steve Jobs, who died from a pancreatic endocrine cancer, and actor Irrfan Khan. Standard treatments such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are suboptimal. Researchers are working to identify effective treatments for high-grade neuroendocrine cancers.

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center neuroendocrine tumor physician Aman Chauhan, M.D.
Dr. Aman Chauhan hopes the April 6 conference raises awareness of neuroendocrine tumors and spurs early diagnosis.

On the positive side, significant advances have been made in the past few years, including peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) for treating advanced, unresectable neuroendocrine tumors.

“We are testing a next generation of combination PRRT therapies at Sylvester and also researching accurate methods to monitor the disease,” said Dr. Chauhan. “Along with these types of advancements and access to cutting-edge clinical trials, we offer access to a dedicated, weekly, multidisciplinary neuroendocrine tumor board to co-manage patients in partnership with community oncologists.”

A National Neuroendocrine Tumor Effort

Dr. Chauhan said the April 6 session is one of four regional conferences organized by NANETS to bring the latest knowledge to clinicians, fellows and students.

“We have invited superstars in this field, along with our own experts, and expect a strong turnout of attendees from throughout Florida and neighboring states,” he added.  

At the conference, Elise C. Kohn, M.D., head of Gynecologic Cancer Therapeutics at the National Cancer Institute, will deliver the keynote talk on the “Federal Perspective on NET Drug Development Landscape and Future Directions.”

Along with Sylvester neuroendocrine specialists, invited conference speakers include:

  • Thor R. Halfdanarson, M.D., from Mayo Clinic, presenting “How Do We Monitor NETs? Do Novel Biomarkers Threaten Radiologist Job Security?”
  • Simron Singh, M.D., M.P.H., from Odette Cancer Center at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto, presenting “Is PRRT the Next Best Thing to Sliced Bread? The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”
  • Renuka Iyer, M.D., from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, presenting “The Role of Somatostatin Analog in Era of PRRT: Is Old Still the Gold?”
  • Jonathan Strosberg, M.D., from Moffitt Cancer Center, presenting “How Do We Sequence NET Systemic Therapies?”

In the afternoon session, Dr. Chauhan will moderate an allied health panel on common patient concerns.

“By bringing together professionals in the areas of oncology, gastroenterology, pulmonology, surgery, radiology and allied fields, we plan to expand awareness and understanding of neuroendocrine tumors, resulting in better treatment options for Florida patients,” he said.

Tags: Dr. Aman Chauhan, neuroendocrine cancer, Neuroendocrine Tumor Program, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center