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Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)

Patient Version

Treatment Options for Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

Carcinoid Tumors in the Stomach

Treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) carcinoid tumors in the stomach may include the following:

  • Endoscopic surgery (resection) for small tumors.
  • Surgery (resection) to remove part or all of the stomach. Nearby lymph nodes for larger tumors, tumors that grow deep into the stomach wall, or tumors that are growing and spreading quickly may also be removed.

For patients with GI carcinoid tumors in the stomach and MEN1 syndrome, treatment may also include:

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with localized gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor and regional gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Carcinoid Tumors in the Small Intestine

It is not clear what the best treatment is for GI carcinoid tumors in the duodenum (first part of the small intestine, that connects to the stomach). Treatment may include the following:

Treatment of GI carcinoid tumors in the jejunum (middle part of the small intestine) and ileum (last part of the small intestine, that connects to the colon) may include the following:

  • Surgery (resection) to remove the tumor and the membrane that connects the intestines to the back of the abdominal wall. Nearby lymph nodes are also removed.
  • A second surgery to remove the membrane that connects the intestines to the back of the abdominal wall, if any tumor remains or the tumor continues to grow.
  • Hormone therapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with localized gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor and regional gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Carcinoid Tumors in the Appendix

Treatment of GI carcinoid tumors in the appendix may include the following:

  • Surgery (resection) to remove the appendix.
  • Surgery (resection) to remove the right side of the colon including the appendix. Nearby lymph nodes are also removed.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with localized gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor and regional gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Carcinoid Tumors in the Colon

Treatment of GI carcinoid tumors in the colon may include the following:

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with localized gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor and regional gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Carcinoid Tumors in the Rectum

Treatment of GI carcinoid tumors in the rectum may include the following:

  • Endoscopic surgery (resection) for tumors that are smaller than 1 centimeter.
  • Surgery (resection) for tumors that are larger than 2 centimeters or that have spread to the muscle layer of the rectal wall. This may be either:
    • surgery to remove part of the rectum; or
    • surgery to remove the anus, the rectum, and part of the colon through an incision made in the abdomen.

It is not clear what the best treatment is for tumors that are 1 to 2 centimeters. Treatment may include the following:

  • Endoscopic surgery (resection).
  • Surgery to remove part of the rectum.
  • Surgery to remove the anus, the rectum, and part of the colon through an incision made in the abdomen.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with localized gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor and regional gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Metastatic Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

Distant metastases

Treatment of distant metastases of GI carcinoid tumors is usually palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. Treatment may include the following:

Liver metastases

Treatment of cancer that has spread to the liver may include the following:

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with metastatic gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Recurrent Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

Treatment of recurrent GI carcinoid tumors may include the following:

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with recurrent gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

  • Updated: May 23, 2014