Research

The research being conducted by the Kim lab on neuroendocrine tumors is focused on four main categories:

1. GEP-NET Staging and Prognosis: staging and accurate prognostic information are critical for the management of GEP-NET patients.  Using a national population-based cancer registry, it has been demonstrated that the existing Tumor-Node-Metastasis (TNM)-based staging classification had limited ability to predict outcomes, but that a modified staging system improved prognostic discrimination. Dr. Kim is presently working to integrate new prognostic information to develop a comprehensive staging classification.

2. Prognostic factors in GEP-NETs: Because of the relative rarity of GEP-NETs, limited studies evaluate factors that may predict outcomes in NETs.  Using a robust NET registry at Mount Sinai, prognostic factors across diverse gastrointestinal primary sites has been assessed, which has demonstrated the importance of Chromagranin A, tumor size and depth, and tumor grade as prognostic factors.

3. Endoscopy and Imaging: Endoscopy, especially endoscopic ultrasound, is an important tool in diagnosing and localizing GEP-NETs. In recent years, the role of therapeutic endoscopic ultrasound, as more than a diagnostic tool, has been explored.  In addition, multiple groups have assessed the potential added benefits of adjunctive techniques such as elastography and microendoscopy.

4. Epidemiology of GEP-NETs:  With the use of large datasets such as the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) offer the opportunity to evaluate whether there is additional risk for malignancy is conferred in patients with GEP-NETs.