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Carcinoid Lung Tumor (cont.)

Medical Treatment for Carcinoid Lung Tumor

There is no medical therapy for the treatment of carcinoid lung tumor.

Surgery is the primary treatment for carcinoid lung tumors.

  • Chemotherapy (using medications to kill cancer cells) and radiation therapy (using high-dose X-rays or other high-energy rays to kill cancer cells) have been used in the treatment of carcinoid lung tumors that have spread; however, no success has been achieved.
  • A response rate of 30%-35% has been reported using a combination of the drugs 5-fluorouracil (Adrucil) and streptozotocin.
  • If the patient is having symptoms associated with carcinoid syndrome (for example, flushing, diarrhea) he or she may be given a drug called octreotide (Sandostatin). Octreotide is not a cure. It is used only when the disease has spread and the patient has symptoms associated with carcinoid syndrome.
  • Another drug (MIBG) is taken up by carcinoid cells and damages them. Researchers are studying MIBG to see if it is effective in the treatment of carcinoid lung tumors.
  • In some malignant cases, the tumor can spread to the liver. If this is a solitary mass, it may be treated with chemotherapy directed at the hepatic artery feeding the location of the tumor.

Carcinoid Lung Tumor Surgery

The only effective treatment of carcinoid lung tumor is surgical resection of the primary tumor. Most tumors follow a benign course and are amenable to surgery.

Surgical options range from radical resection (the tumor with a good margin of normal tissue is removed) to minimally invasive surgery.

Different surgical options include the following:

  • Sleeve resection: Section of the airway containing the tumor is removed.
  • Segmental resection: Segment of the lung containing the tumor is removed.
  • Wedge resection: Small wedge of the lung containing the tumor is removed.
  • Lobectomy:Lobe of the lung containing the tumor is removed.
  • Pneumonectomy: Entire lung containing the tumor is removed.
  • Endoscopic tumor ablation using laser: This technique involves removal of the tumor through the bronchoscope, using laser. It is reserved for treating bronchial obstruction caused by the tumor or reduction of the tumor mass prior to surgical resection. This procedure is rarely curative on its own.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/17/2017

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