Medical Treatment of Metastasizing Carcinoid Tumors


Long-acting somatostatin analogs, such as octreotide, comprise the therapeutic modality of choice for the symptomatic relief of flush and diarrhea in patients with carcinoid syndrome. The sequelae of gastric acid hypersecretion in patients with gastrin-producing duodenal carcinoids (gastrinoma) are perfectly controlled by proton pump inhibitors. Antiproliferative medical strategies to control the growth of metastatic carcinoid tumors include long-acting somatostatin analogs, interferon alpha, and the combination of the two. However, the success rate is less than 50%, and it is questionable whether true tumor regression can be expected. Controlled prospective studies are mandatory to address the question whether interferon or somatostatin analogs or the combination of the two should be used as first-line medical strategies and if hepatic artery embolization in patients with liver metastases should be performed before beginning medical therapy. Chemotherapy, including etoposide and cisplatin, has been shown to be effective only for purely differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas and not for slowly growing carcinoids.

DOI: 10.1007/s002689900031

1 Figure or Table

Cite this paper

@article{Arnold1996MedicalTO, title={Medical Treatment of Metastasizing Carcinoid Tumors}, author={Renate Arnold}, journal={World Journal of Surgery}, year={1996}, volume={20}, pages={203-207} }