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How do SSAs work? Should all NET patients be on one? What are the side effects? Dr. Edward Wolin from Mount Sinai Health System answers several common questions about the current and future role of somatostatin analogues in NET treatment. 



Professor of Medicine, Medical Oncology, Icahn School of Medicine Director, Center for Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumors Tisch Cancer Institute, Mount Sinai Health System

Dr. Edward M. Wolin is an internationally renowned authority on neuroendocrine tumors. Dr. Wolin is the Director of the Center for Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumors at the Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai and Professor of Medicine, Medical Oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The multidisciplinary Center for Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumors features a robust research program with clinical trials aimed at finding the most effective treatments, including immunotherapy, biologic agents, targeted radiation therapy, and new approaches in molecular imaging for diagnosis. Dr. Wolin has pioneered innovative therapies with novel somatostatin analogs, mTOR inhibitors, anti-angiogenic drugs, and peptide receptor radiotherapy.

Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Dr. Wolin was Director of the Neuroendocrine Tumor Program at Montefiore Einstein Cancer Center. Previously, he worked for more than two decades with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he founded and directed one of the largest Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumor Programs in the country, and subsequently directed the Neuroendocrine Tumor Program at University of Kentucky. Dr. Wolin is also the Co-Medical Director for the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation and is on the Carcinoid Cancer Research Grants Scientific Review Committee for the American Association for Cancer Research. He has published in many prestigious journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of Clinical Oncology, and is a reviewer for numerous journals, including Journal of Clinical Oncology, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Clinical Cancer Research, and The Lancet Oncology.

During Dr. Wolin’s two decades at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, he developed a close friendship with LACNETS founder Giovanna Joyce Imbesi. Dr. Wolin was instrumental in the co-founding and development of LACNETS. LACNETS has always been very dear to his heart and he cherishes and honors the memory of Giovanna. 

Dr. Wolin earned his medical degree from Yale School of Medicine. He completed both his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in medical oncology at Stanford University Hospital. He was also a clinical fellow at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Wolin is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology.




(1) What are somatostatin analogues (SSAs)? How do they work? 

(2) When and how are SSAs used?

(3) Which SSA should a patient be on? What is the difference? How do you decide? Do SSAs shrink tumors? 

(4) How do you know if a SSA will be helpful? Should ALL NET patients be on a SSA?

(5) What about patients whose tumors don’t “light up” on a DOTATATE scan?

(6) How long can someone stay on a SSA? Do SSAs stop working after a period of time? Do people develop a “resistance” to the medication?

(7) What side effects may patients experience from the shot? What can patients do to prevent or manage these symptoms? How might it affect one’s day-to-day ability to work and function? Can I live a “normal life” while taking this medication?

  • Many patients complain of diarrhea after getting the shot. What might you recommend to prevent or manage diarrhea from the injection?

  • I’ve heard SSAs cause issues with the gallbladder. Could you explain more about the possible correlation?

  • Do SSAs cause diabetes?

  • Many patients note soreness after getting the shot. What might you recommend to prevent soreness from the injection?

(8) If the tumor is growing does this mean the SSA did not work? Do you continue it when patients are treated with another treatment? When do you stop a SSA?

(9) What is the future of SSAs? I heard there is a pill that is available in a clinical trial. Can I take a pill instead of getting the injection? 

(10) What words of hope do you have for the NET community?




Lanreotide + Octreotide Resources

LACNETS Blog Post - "A Focus on Somatostatin Analogs (Your Monthly Shots)"

LACNETS Blog Post - "The Shot"

LACNETS Blog Post - "Practical Tips for Patients on the Shot Somatostatin Analog" 

Somatostatin Analogue (SSA) Clinical Trials



LACNETS Podcasts are created for educational purposes only and do not substitute for medical advice. The views shared in this Podcast are the personal opinions of the experts and do not necessarily reflect the views of LACNETS. Please contact your medical team with questions or concerns about your individual care or treatment.



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