Carcinoid-syndrome: recent advances, current status and controversies

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To review recent advances and controversies in all aspects of carcinoid-syndrome.

Recent findings

Over the last few years there have been a number of advances in all aspects of carcinoid syndrome as well as new therapies. These include new studies on its epidemiology which demonstrate it is increasing in frequency; increasing insights into the pathogenesis of its various clinical manifestations and into its natural history: definition of prognostic factors; new methods to verify its presence; the development of new drugs to treat its various manifestations, both initially and in somatostatin-refractory cases; and an increased understanding of the pathogenesis, natural history and management of carcinoid heart disease. These advances have generated several controversies and these are also reviewed.

Summary

There have been numerous advances in all aspects of the carcinoid-syndrome, which is the most common functional syndrome neuroendocrine tumors produce. These advances are leading to new approaches to the management of these patients and in some cases to new controversies.

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