Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of carcinoid tumours. Part 1: the gastrointestinal tract. A statement from a Canadian National Carcinoid Expert Group

Curr Oncol. 2006 Apr;13(2):67-76.


Carcinoid tumours are relatively rare and, in general, slow growing. They can be "non-functioning" tumours, presenting as a tumour mass, or "functioning" tumours secondary to the production of several biopeptides leading to the carcinoid syndrome. Though these tumours represent 0.25% of an oncology practice, a proper understanding of the clinical course of the disease and of the importance of appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures is very important. Proper patient management can lead to cure, particularly if the tumour can be fully resected, or to long-term palliation with medical treatment or cytoreductive surgery, or both, with significant prolongation of survival. A good understanding of the use of somatostatin analogues to achieve effective symptomatic control and of the importance of adequate follow-up and cardiac monitoring to prevent or effectively treat cardiac complications can contribute significantly to optimal control of this complex disease, ultimately improving the quality of life of affected patients. This article, developed by a group of Canadian experts, provides a framework that will assist clinicians in taking an optimal approach to managing their patients with carcinoid tumour.