The NETRF Board of Directors has awarded the Clevers group an Accelerator Research Grant of $1,200,000 for their proposal titled, “Modeling neuroendocrine tumors using adult stem cell-derived organoids”.

NETRF stands for ‘Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation’ which mission it is to fund research to discover cures and more effective treatments for carcinoid, pancreatic, and related neuroendocrine cancers. To achieve rapid discovery of cures, the NET Research Foundation directs its donations to fund breakthrough scientific research of neuroendocrine cancers. Since its inception, the NET Research Foundation has awarded over $14 million in large-scale, multi-year research grants to leading scientists at renowned research institutions, and has funded research at 7 of the top 10 U.S. cancer centers.

Neuroendocrine tumors

Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are rare and originate from specialized cells called neuroendocrine cells. These cells, which have features like nerve cells and hormone-producing cells, release hormones into the blood in response to signals from the nervous system. Neuroendocrine tumors can occur throughout the body, but primary sites include the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, rectum, lungs, and appendix. The majority of neuroendocrine tumors can be divided into two classes: carcinoid and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Pheochromocytoma is a rare form of neuroendocrine tumor.

Over 200,000 people in the worldwide are living with neuroendocrine cancers. The majority of all NET patients are initially misdiagnosed, and the time from onset of symptoms to proper diagnosis often exceeds five years. Many physicians and specialists are not aware of current diagnostic and treatment options. Too often, doctors still believe NETS are benign, slow growing, and do not metastasize. The most prevalent symptoms are diarrhea, constipation, flushing, abdominal pain, wheezing, heart palpitations, and blood pressure fluctuations.