A recent Cell Death and Disease study evaluated the effect of ketogenic dietary intervention on neuroendocrine tumors.
Study: Metabolic intervention by low carbohydrate diet suppresses the onset and progression of neuroendocrine tumors. Image Credit: Alexander Rutz/Shutterstock.com
The pancreas acts as both endocrine and exocrine organs. It functions as an endocrine organ by releasing hormones and polypeptides, such as glucagon and insulin, which regulate blood sugar levels.
These hormones are released through pancreatic islet cells. When pancreatic islet cells become malignant, these are referred to as pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNETs).
The incidence of PanNETs is significantly less with 0.43 per 100,000 persons. However, in the last two decades, its prevalence has been increasing rapidly. Although the majority of PanNETs have occurred sporadically, 10% are linked with underlying genetic issues, such as multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1).
PanNETs are commonly found neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) in MEN1 patients. These patients are prone to developing NETs in other organs too (for example, the pituitary).
Based on tumor characteristics, PanNETs are categorized into two groups, namely, functional and non-functional tumors. The functional PanNETs are associated with tumors that secrete biologically active hormones and cause hormone syndromes. It must be noted that around 90% of PanNETs are in the non-functional group.
PanNET progression has been associated with liver metastasis. As per the treatment, patients who have metastatic disease cannot be subjected to re-sectioning surgery. Patients with multiple non-functional PanNETs are not offered surgery as a therapeutic option.
Furthermore, the majority of drugs available for PanNET management exhibited marginal improvement with regard to tumor shrinkage. These observations indicate the urgent need for effective interventions to prevent PanNET’s progression. The Men1f/f-RipCre+ mouse develops PanNETs and pituitary NETs and this mouse model is used to study the disease in vivo.
Both human and mouse models have shown hyperinsulinemia enhances tumor…