|Authors||Lal A, Chen H|
|Journal||Curr Opin Oncol Volume: 18 Issue: 1 Pages: 9-15|
|Publish Date||2006 Jan|
Carcinoid tumors often present with metastatic disease. Generally, these tumors can be treated conservatively. New evidence exists, however, that stage IV disease may be better managed with more aggressive medical and surgical treatment. Headway is also being made into understanding the associated fibrosis seen with advanced disease and in better understanding signaling pathways with the hope of offering future treatment options.Recent literature has advocated for more aggressive surgical treatment of carcinoid tumors, especially in the setting of hepatic metastases and peritoneal carcinomatosis. Octreotide and lanreotide are further being described for treating metastatic carcinoids. Radiolabeled somatostatin analogues may prove to be as effective for treating carcinoids as for visualizing them. Other potential treatment modalities include pharmacologic activation of signaling pathways to control excess hormone production. Research into fibrosis – a cause of pain, bowel obstruction, retroperitoneal vascular constriction and right heart failure – has shown that serotonin and tachykinins may be the key mediators.Patients with stage IV carcinoid tumors may benefit from more aggressive surgical management and new treatment modalities. The growing body of knowledge regarding important molecular signaling pathway may lead to new medical therapies and further understanding of the sequelae of excess hormone production.