Dr. Anthony on the Pathology of Neuroendocrine Tumors

Lowell Anthony, MD
Published: Wednesday, Sep 28, 2016



Lowell Anthony, MD, chief, Division of Medical Oncology, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, discusses the various subtleties in defining the pathology of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).

In many ways, the vocabulary used to define these tumors is extremely important, says Anthony. For example, a grade 1 NET could be benign or malignant. However, a poorly differentiated or undifferentiated tumor implies a carcinoma, which behaves very differently from a well-differentiated NET and requires more aggressive therapy.

Oncologists then face a bit of a conundrum in classifying the disease as either a tumor or a carcinoma, Anthony explains, which makes treating patients more complex. Patients may receive either too little or too aggressive treatment as a result.


Lowell Anthony, MD, chief, Division of Medical Oncology, University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, discusses the various subtleties in defining the pathology of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs).

In many ways, the vocabulary used to define these tumors is extremely important, says Anthony. For example, a grade 1 NET could be benign or malignant. However, a poorly differentiated or undifferentiated tumor implies a carcinoma, which behaves very differently from a well-differentiated NET and requires more aggressive therapy.

Oncologists then face a bit of a conundrum in classifying the disease as either a tumor or a carcinoma, Anthony explains, which makes treating patients more complex. Patients may receive either too little or too aggressive treatment as a result.

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