info about small cell neuroendocrine tumor


Hi - My husband was just diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumor small cell carcinoma of the prostate. They did not give us any gleason score or anything. He is having the prostate removed next week. He is getting a bone scan too. I feel like everything I have read offers little hope. They think they caught the cancer early. I am just trying to find out his chances. I have young children and I just feel like everything is an unknown. Does anyone know anything about this?



  • VascodaGama
    VascodaGama Member Posts: 3,668 Member
    edited November 2016 #2
    Neuroendocrine cancer


    I am sorry for your husband's diagnosis. I am not a doctor but have researched a lot on this type of cancer (PCa) cells while investigating on PCa mutations due to my hormonal treatment. You may not receive many responses to your inquire because small cell PCa cases are rare and the existence of neuroendocrine cells rarely are investigated when analyzing the biopsy cores in laboratory. Different staining is required which is not commonly requested.
    My lay opinion is that surgery is the best approach (if not the only approach). scPCa is fast spreading so that one needs to be fast in attacking it removing the tumor (the gland) for good. Only fewer doctors have experience in treating this aggressive type of cancer.

    I wonder what made your husband to go through the biopsy. Was there any particular symptom?
    How about any high level of cancer markers (blood tests) such as CGA, NSE, PSA, PAP or CEA?
    You comment that no Gleason score has been attributed but can you tell if adenocarcinoma was also existent together with the small-cell carcinoma?

    Apart from surgery that can provide cure, this type of cancers are treated similarly to those to treat small-cell lung cancer. Chemotherapy is the main treatment with radiation used as palliative for local control of symptoms if cancer metastasizes. Cisplatin and Etoposide are the most commonly recommended drugs, so that you may investigate which side effects would be experienced by your husband.

    Typically, neuroendocrine cancer is classified as “AR-negative PCa” (in comparison with adenocarcinomas which are AR-positive) so that do not respond to hormonal treatments. They also do not produce PSA serum (rare cases do) requiring different markers for controlling/verifying any advance of the disease or to check about treatment success/outcome or recurrence. Chromogranin, Synaptophysin, Neuron specific enolase and  CD56 are the markers of choice in your husband's case.

    Here is a link regarding neuroendocrine tumors (NETs);

    Here are links regarding chemo drugs;

    I hope my comments above are helpful. I think you need to confront the situation positively even if not much is known about this type of cancer.

    Best wishes and luck in his journey.


  • caretothepeople
    caretothepeople Member Posts: 18
    edited November 2016 #3
    Ask questions

    Tara, I'm so sorry you are in this situation. Getting any diagnosis can be overwhelming, especially when it is cancer. It is normal to have a lot of questions. Here are some things you may consider going over with his doctor to get more clarity about the situation. What did they say next steps and follow up were to be? Also, you may consider seeking out a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis and get more information about options. It helps to get the most information you can in order to get an accurate diagnosis and make the most informed decision.

    Also, please don't go it alone. The diagnosis and treatment process can be so stressful on everyone in the family, including spouses. Many hospitals have support groups for spouses and if you have a local American Cancer Society chapter its likely they might be able to point you in the direction of in person suppot if it's something you're interested in. Stay strong, and please continue to reach out here.

    - Melody