Vanderbilt Endocrinology: Neuroendocrine Patient Care

About the Vanderbilt Neuroendocrine Center

At the Vanderbilt Neuroendocrine Center, we have the right tools to diagnose and treat neuroendocrine cancer. Our most important resource is our expert multidisciplinary neuroendocrine team.

Doctors from nine departments dedicated to neuroendocrine diseases discuss cases and draw on ideas from all aspects of the patient. We review each patients history, lab results and radiology findings to establish a firm diagnosis. We will work with you and your doctor to meet a long-term strategy for symptom control, tumor treatment and follow-up.

About Neuroendocrine Tumors

Howard Baum, M.D.
Howard Baum, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology
Physician, Vanderbilt Neuroendocrine Center

Most disorders of the endocrine system arise from problems in endocrine glands such as the thyroid. However, there are cells distributed throughout the body that can release hormones into the bloodstream to regulate key bodily functions. Because these cells have some features in common with nerve cells, they are called neuroendocrine cells.

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are rare cancers that arise when these cells begin to grow abnormally. Unlike most cancers, they tend to grow very slowly. Since a neuroendocrine tumor arises from cells that produce hormones, the tumor itself can produce extra hormones, causing illness.

Many symptoms of neuroendocrine tumors are caused by hormones the tumor secretes. Because the symptoms can be varied and vague, they are easily misdiagnosed.