Proof of concept for stereotactic body radiation therapy in the treatment of functional Neuroendocrine Neoplasms


What is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)?

External beam radiotherapy has been around for a while. But the next generation equipment and techniques are gradually being deployed.   It’s a confusing area with many synonyms which I found when I wrote about the subject in a treatment summary for patients.  Some of the sub-components/synonyms may be familiar to you and are often used interchangeably with SBRT; but are actually a brand name (e.g.Cyberknife) or a type (e.g. Proton Beam). 

You will not find SBRT mentioned in any Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NENs) guidelines and that’s because it is not a “standard of care” for this disease.

If it is not a standard of care, why did I include SBRT and various techniques in the above summary?  I was prompted to include this after noticing two things in my private patient group.  Firstly, some patients had received the treatment, and secondly because many people are asking if was “approved” for use in NENs.  

This type of therapy is often called Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) when used to treat brain tumours.  SBRT gives radiotherapy from many different angles around the body. The beams meet at the tumour. This means the tumour receives a high dose of radiation and the tissues around it receive a much lower dose. This lowers the risk of side effects.  This type of radiotherapy is mainly used to treat small cancers, 

Like conventional surgery, there is a focus on the anatomy so when you look at big sites such as Mayo Clinic, you can see SBRT is used to treat tumors in the lungs, spine, liver, neck, lymph node or other soft tissues.  So, they may not specify particular cancer types, only the locations of tumours.  That said, there are many clinical trials going on where cancer types are mentioned. On the NIH database, I found 1235 with the term “SBRT” and narrowed that down to 20 with both SBRT and Neuroendocrine Tumours (note: filtering is not an exact science!)

I was following a Twitter thread where they were discussing options for treating small pancreatic NETs where anything below 2cm.  Guidelines currently indicate that for pancreatic NETs less than 2cm, not threatening major vessels and or non-functional, should be observed.  Inside the discussion, a leading hepatobiliary surgeon shared this Proof-of-Concept study of SBRT for functional NENs.  A proof of concept can be simply defined as evidence that demonstrates that a concept is feasible (in some ways a precursor to a clinical trial). 

As many of you will be aware, hormonal syndromes related to functional NEN represent a significant management challenge. Surgery is a standard of care but it can be associated with short and long-term postoperative morbidity and may not be appropriate for all patients.

The study attached is small but interestingly contains feedback on 4 subjects.  Three of them involve functional pancreatic NETs (Glucagonoma, Insulinoma, multifocal * Insulinoma with MEN1) and a Lung NET with Ectopic Cushing’s Syndrome. 

* more than one distinct tumour


I am not a doctor or any form of medical professional, practitioner or counsellor. None of the information on my website, or linked to my website(s), or conveyed by me on any social media or presentation, should be interpreted as medical advice given or advised by me.  Neither should any post or comment made by a follower or member of my private group be assumed to be medical advice, even if that person is a healthcare professional as they are not members of the private group or followers of my sites in any official capacity.  Please also note that mention of a clinical service, trial/study or therapy does not constitute an endorsement of that service, trial/study or therapy by Ronny Allan, the information is provided for education and awareness purposes and/or related to Ronny Allan’s own patient experience. This element of the disclaimer includes any complementary medicine, non-prescription over the counter drugs and supplements such as vitamins and minerals.

General Clinical Trials Disclaimer

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided in the clinical trials document. It’s very important to check the trial inclusion and exclusion criteria before making any contact.  If you need questions, the articles here is very useful Questions to Ask About Clinical Trials | Cancer.Net

The inclusion of any trial or therapy within this blog should not be taken as a recommendation by Ronny Allan. 


Subscribe to my newsletter

Thanks for reading.


I’m also active on Facebook. Like my page for even more news. Help me build up my new site here – click here and ‘Like’

Sign up for my newsletters – Click Here


My Diagnosis and Treatment History

Follow me on twitter

Check out my online presentations

Check out my WEGO Health Awards

Like my new awareness page – click here or on the photo.  (Like rather than follow please!)

Check out my Glossary of Terms – click here

patients included

Please Share this post for Neuroendocrine Cancer awareness and to help another patient


Neuroendocrine tumors are uncommon but definitely not rare

USA finally commits  UK and Australian figures recently confirmed that Neuroendocrine Cancer is the 10th and 7th most common cancer type.  It was great to

Read More »

Cancer Ablation

What is Cancer Ablation? This is a minimally invasive surgical method to treat solid cancers. Special probes are used to “burn” or “freeze” cancers. Computed

Read More »

Lactose intolerance – the NET Effect

Background   When I cast my mind back to my very first surgery, I remember asking my Oncologist what I could do to put on weight. 

Read More »

EUS Guided Ablation for small pancreatic NETs (Less than 2cm)

To burn or not to burn? I once wrote a post about Pancreatic NET “to cut or not to cut”.  You can read that here. 

Read More »

RonnyAllan.NET – a review of 2022

Review In 2022, my pet project (my blog) hit 2 million views in early November – that was a major boost.  It takes 3-4 years to get

Read More »

RonnyAllan.NET – Summary of December 2022

Summary December is always the quietest month of the year, no surprise why!  However, the top 10 below is somewhat surprising, I guess some posts

Read More »

Happy New Year from Ronny

Another year of survival I normally only do a Facebook happy new year, but I wanted to make sure I reached everyone who follows my

Read More »

Piss off cancer – 12 years of Christmas and I’m still here!

12 Christmas celebrations since diagnosis and I’m still here.  My Facebook memories today are full of Christmas day activities including my first Christmas after diagnosis

Read More »

A Christmas 2022 message from Ronny

Background to 2022 I’ve only ever sent these on Facebook but this year, after some challenges, I wanted to make sure I covered anyone who

Read More »

I love comments - feel free!

%d bloggers like this: