Clinical features of carcinoid syndrome and the use of somatostatin analogue in its management

Acta Oncol. 1989;28(3):389-402. doi: 10.3109/02841868909111212.


A review is given on the clinical features of carcinoid syndrome including symptomatology, diagnostics, biochemistry and treatment. We have reviewed the literature on current therapy of carcinoid patients with special emphasis on the use of the somatostatin analogue SMS 20-1995. In addition, we present data on the effects of SMS 201-995 on indices of a clinical, biochemical and tumor growth. Diarrhea is abolished or significantly reduced in 75% of patients, flushing improves in 100%, wheezing in 100% with a decrease in airways resistance, and in one patient myopathy has improved. Blood serotonin is notoriously resistant to intervention and urinary 5-HIAA will decrease in 75% of causes but subsequently rebounds in 38%. Tumors, in general, continue to grow, but this may be slowed or in rare cases tumor growth is arrested. In individual instances the tumor may even infarct, leading to spontaneous cure. Tumors secreting PP, ACTH and calcitonin may be particularly resistant to treatment, whereas VIP secreting tumors appear to be sensitive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Malignant Carcinoid Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Malignant Carcinoid Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Octreotide / therapeutic use*


  • Octreotide