Neuroendocrine Cancer Program

  • Neuroendocrine tumors
    • Occur with the same frequency in men and women 
    • Average age at diagnosis is 62 years
    • Can occur anywhere in the body
      • Most common sites
        • Appendix
        • Colon and rectum 
        • Lung
        • Pancreas
        • Small intestine
        • Stomach
    • Increased five-fold in the last three decades, with an incidence of 5 cases per 100,000 people
    • Many different types of neuroendocrine tumors that vary in size and speed of growth
    • Not all neuroendocrine tumors cause symptoms, while others may cause symptoms resembling common respiratory or gastrointestinal ailments
    • Often found in the digestive system and the lungs, but can occur anywhere neuroendocrine cells are found
    • Tumors can also spread to other parts of the body like the liver or bone

​​At University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, our highly experienced physicians and staff are dedicated to taking care of you, not just your cancer. As part of a nationally recognized cancer center, we are on the leading edge of neuroendocrine research, always searching for ways to make the best cancer treatment even better. Our team comprises of top researchers finding new, innovative treatments and therapies, as well as identifying genetic links that may pinpoint risk.

Team-Based Approach

We bring experts from different fields of medicine to work together in a multidisciplinary oncology group. Since many neuroendocrine patients require more than one form of treatment, our team meets regularly to discuss the best course of treatment and works together to design the best personalized plan for every patient. The team includes Surgical Oncologists, Endocrine Oncologists, Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Social Workers, Pathologists, Pediatric Oncologists, Pharmacists, Nurses, and laboratory-based Scientists. 

Cancer Care With You in Mind

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only institution in Iowa to hold the prestigious designation of being a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers are rated in the top 4 percent of the approximately 1,500 cancer centers in the United States. A recent study published in the journal Cancer showed that patients treated at NCI designated cancer centers have better survival outcomes than patients treated at non-NCI designated cancer centers.

Our doctors and staff stay on top of the newest developments in cancer research, treatment, and diagnosis to offer all of the services you need for your neuroendocrine care. Our multidisciplinary team of experts with expertise in clinical, laboratory, and population-based research will design a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

We know no one wants to stay in the hospital longer than necessary, so we work especially hard to make sure your treatment options are done on an out-patient basis, allowing you to rest in the comfort of your own home.

Services That Set Us Apart

  • Experts focused primarily on neuroendocrine cancer. Our team of specialists have been researching neuroendocrine cancers for decades. They understand the disease, know about the most recent treatment options from surgery to chemotherapy, and can help you determine what is best for you. Read more about how Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center probes this rare cancer.
  • Innovative clinical trials. We not only offer access to the most recent treatment methods and therapies but our physicians are also neuroendocrine researchers, placing them right in the heart of the latest breakthroughs in neuroendocrine cancers. Our researchers received the only Neuroendorcine SPORE (Specialized Programs of Research Excellence) grant in the country, a grant consisting of four independent NET research projects and clinical core facilities, from the National Cancer Institute.
  • Access to the highest resolution scanning equipment for diagnosis and treatment. Our doctors use the Gallium DOTA-PET (positron emission tomography) scanner which provides fast, three-dimensional scans that are among the highest resolution available for diagnosing neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Multiple treatment options. Each neuroendocrine diagnosis is different, and each treatment option should be, too. Our doctors and staff work with you and create a treatment program that will best fit you and your cancer. At Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, we use peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT), a molecular therapy used to treat neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).
  • New infusion suite designed with patients in mind. Our infusion suite was designed with patient input to create a comfortable, welcoming environment. Take our virtual tour.

Neuroendocrine Cancer Research

UI Receives Neuroendocrine SPORE Grant

Researchers at the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center have received a five-year, $10.67 million Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to study neuroendocrine tumors. This is the first and only SPORE grant ever awarded to fund research on neuroendocrine tumors.

Read more about our Neuroendocrine Cancer SPORE



The Power of Clinical Trials

A great deal of research is done behind the scenes in laboratories, long before clinical trials can even begin. Clinical trials are research studies that test out the latest treatments and drugs that are not yet available to the public. These new treatments have the potential to improve your quality of life or increase your chances of survival.

See a full list and learn more about neuroendocrine cancer clinical trials at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Support Our Mission

Our work is made possible in part by the support of donors through charitable giving. Friends of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center can become partners in the effort to control and ultimately cure cancer. Learn how you can help us make a difference for cancer patients.

Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Oncology Multidisciplinary Team