Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) manifesting in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) are a form of abnormal growth that originates from the diffuse neuroendocrine system within the GIT. These tumours are characterized by the assembly of cells with diverse hormonal profiles, which vary according to their site of origin. Based on their nature, NETs are classified into carcinoid and non-carcinoid categories, and both variants have the potential to exhibit malignant behaviours.
Among these, pancreatic originated endocrine tumours, except insulinomas, show a significant predilection towards malignancy, ranging between 50 to 100 percent. These malignant tumours can metastasize to various locations, with the liver being the most common site in the case of pancreatic NETs, followed by the jejunum ileum, lungs, and rectum.
The prognosis of neuroendocrine tumours is heavily influenced by several factors, including the extent of liver involvement, lymph nodal metastases, age of the patient, and gender, with males being more susceptible. To determine the tumour activity, various markers are used. Additionally, the implications of neuroendocrine tumours are vast and complex. They can precipitate conditions such as medullary thyroid disorder and gastrinomas and can be associated with fore gut, mid gut, and hind gut NETs.
NETs found in the periampullary region of the pancreas have an association with liver metastases in about 53 percent of cases. These can further be bifurcated into functional and non-functional types. Functional NETs are correlated with complications due to hormonal excess, such as insulinoma causing hypoglycemia. In contrast, non-functional pancreatic tumours present symptoms related to tumour invasion in the liver, including abdominal pain, jaundice, and weight loss.
Diverse manifestations of NETs include appendiceal NETs, which are usually localized, and only 8 percent metastasize. Rectum NETs present a minimal 5 percent chance of metastasis. Stomach NETs are frequently linked with upper gastrointestinal involvement and hyperacidity, with 20 percent exhibiting Zollinger Ellison syndrome.
Given the multifaceted nature of NETs, effective treatment is challenging. The response rate to chemotherapy is dismal, below 9 percent, with a complete loss of vitality. Consequently, seeking consultation from adept homeopathic cancer specialists is advised for improving the quality of life. Homeopathic treatment paradigms are tailored based on the grade, area, and extent of tumour invasion, as well as the associated carcinoid syndromes. Medications like Carcinosinum, Ornithogalum, Iris Vers, Chelidonium, Phosphorous, and Carduus Mar are employed, among others, depending on the individual presentation of the tumour.
One notable approach in homeopathic treatment is Iscador therapy, notable for its efficacy in controlling the genetic basis of tumour expansion. It is particularly beneficial in managing hormonal basis NETs, offering significant control over tumour invasion and metastasis with minimal side effects.
Neuroendocrine tumours of the gastrointestinal tract are intricate malignancies with varied presentations and implications. The prognosis is dependent on several factors, and conventional chemotherapy offers limited relief. In contrast, tailored homeopathic treatment, including Iscador therapy, can offer a beacon of hope for improving the quality of life of affected individuals by managing symptoms and controlling the progression with minimum adverse effects.