World Cancer Day Provides Springboard for NET-Cancer Summit

NASHVILLE – Diagnosis and treatment of Neuroendocrine (NET) Cancers will be debated Feb. 24- 26 when physicians and bench researchers from more than 30 research hospitals across the United States and Europe gather in Beaver Creek, Colorado, for a Summit hosted by The Healing NET Foundation in partnership with the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care.

Celebrities such as Steve Jobs, Dave Thomas and Audrey Hepburn are among the thousands of individuals who have fought NET-Cancer, formerly referred to as carcinoid cancer. Patients tend to present unusual and what could be viewed as common sets of symptoms which can cause them to be misdiagnosed with more common benign diseases, or have a tumor discovered incidentally without any symptoms at all. The zebra has become symbolic of NET-Cancer patients, because medical students are encouraged to think of common illness rather than to view every patient as having an obscure problem, but sometimes common symptoms can be caused by something unusual, “like zebras”. Just like no two zebra stripes are alike, no two NET-Cancer patients have exactly the same manifestation of the disease, which makes it more difficult to establish a protocol treatment.

Attendees of the inaugural Healing NET Foundation Summit will share their clinical experiences in the diagnosis and treatment of NET-Cancer patients. It presents in people of both sexes, all ages and all ethnicities, causing confusing symptoms and sometimes no symptoms. Many NET-Cancer patients often spend five to seven years “doctor hopping” before an accurate diagnosis, dramatically reducing chances of successful treatment and possible recovery. If caught early, however, NET-Cancer can be manageable, and patients may live productive lives.

With a mission to further awareness of and education about NET-Cancer in the medical community and to profoundly impact the quality of patient care, The Healing NET Foundation views the Summit as a step toward bringing the academic and research community experts in the disease together to begin sharing knowledge and experience with community-based physician specialists.

The goal of the Summit is to develop material to distribute accurate information about NETs cancers that prompts physicians to reflect NET-Cancer as the primary diagnosis rather than continue to treat random symptoms in difficult-to-diagnose patients. Patients with an array of symptoms are frequently shuffled among specialized practices like oncology, radiology, endocrinology, pulmonology, cardiology, gastroenterology and surgery.

With 90 percent of cancer patients in the United States treated by community-based physicians operating outside academic and research communities, even if a patient is ultimately properly diagnosed with NETs, a community-based doctor may have little access to information that will allow them to successfully treat NET-Cancer patients.

Participants at the Healing NET Foundation Summit are prepared to share good news about the effective use of some existing cancer drugs in treating NETs and eminent FDA approval of a new tool that will enable physicians to make earlier and more definitive diagnoses.

Summary documents resulting from the Summit are being distributed to physicians to help better identify NET-Cancers and provide proper care for NET patients. The new information will serve as a companion and update to The Healing NET Foundation’s Primer for Healthcare Professionals published in October 2015, which is available at

Novartis, Lexicon, AAA, Angio Dynamics, BioTheranostics, Foundation Medicine, Neuroendocrine Cancer Awareness Network, Anonymous Donor, Sarah Cannon Cancer Network, and Chiasma