Neuroendocrine tumours of the pancreas

Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) are rare cancers that start in neuroendocrine cells. There are neuroendocrine cells in most organs of our body, including the pancreas. 

There are different types of NETs of the pancreas. They are usually grouped into functioning and non functioning NETs. There are 5 main types of functioning pancreatic NETs which are called insulinoma, gastrinoma, somatostatinoma, glucagonoma and VIPoma.  

Pancreatic NETs are rare and need different treatment to the more common type of pancreatic cancer. 

Stages and grades of pancreatic NETs

The stage and grade of a pancreatic NET helps your doctor decide which treatment you need.

Non functioning neuroendocrine tumours of the pancreas

Non functioning means that the NET doesn't make hormones. Or makes hormones that don't cause a set of symptoms (a syndrome). 


Insulinomas are rare neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) that start in the insulin making cells of the pancreas.


Gastrinomas are rare NETs that start in cells that make the hormone gastrin.


Somatostatinomas are rare NETs that start in the pancreas or the small bowel (duodenum).


Glucagonomas are rare NETs that start in the glucagon making cells of the pancreas.


VIPomas usually start in the pancreas. They can also rarely start in other organs of the body such as the bowel, lungs and liver.

Risks and causes of pancreatic NETs

There are some factors that increase your risk of developing a pancreatic NET. This includes some medical conditions.

Research and clinical trials for pancreatic NETs

Researchers are looking at improving the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of people with pancreatic NETs.

Living with NETs

Get practical and emotional support to help you cope with a neuroendocrine tumour.

Last reviewed: 
17 Jun 2021
Next review due: 
17 Jun 2024
Json LD: 
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