Carcinoids are rare endocrine tumors that can develop in several organs in the body. Clinically, patients can have a wide spectrum of signs and symptoms that range from incidental findings of a polyp during endoscopy to the carcinoid syndrome characterized by severe flushing, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and life-threatening right-sided heart failure. Most carcinoid tumors are indolent but can metastasize to regional lymph nodes and to other organs, including the liver, bone, and the central nervous system. Treatment is determined by tumor location and by the presence of distant metastasis. Surgical resection of the tumor is advocated in patients with localized disease and can often be curative. Long-acting somatostatin analogs, including octreotide, octreotide long-acting repeatable, and lanreotide prolonged release, are effective in providing symptom relief in patients with the carcinoid syndrome. Patients with metastatic disease to the liver that is refractory to somatostatin treatment should be considered for hepatic artery occlusion. Overall, 5- and 10-year survival rates in patients with metastatic disease are favorable, although tumors can be resistant to most forms of medical or surgical therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)