Well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) of the jejunum, ileum, and appendix are also collectively known as midgut carcinoids. Similar to NETs in general, the diagnosed incidence of the midgut NETs is on the rise. Their presenting symptoms vary depending on stage and primary site. Local-regional NETs often present with vague and nonspecific symptoms. Classic carcinoid syndrome is more likely to appear in patients with advanced disease. Local-regional NETs of the small bowel should be resected whenever possible. With the exception of small well-differentiated NETs of the appendix, NETs of the midgut have substantial risk of relapse after resection and need to be followed for at least 7 years.
Metastatic/advanced NETs of the midgut are incurable. Optimal management requires a multidisciplinary approach. Somatostatin analogs are effective in the management of carcinoid syndrome. Octreotide long-acting release has also recently been shown to delay disease progression. Liver-directed therapy and surgical debulking can improve quality of life in selected patients. Pivotal phase 3 studies with bevacizumab targeting vascular endothelial growth factor and everolimus targeting mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) are ongoing and may lead to improved outcome. Further studies of novel approaches such as peptide receptor radiotherapy are also warranted.