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New medical strategies for midgut carcinoids.

Review article
Authors Ola Nilsson
Yvonne Arvidsson
Viktor Johanson
Eva Forssell-Aronsson
Håkan Ahlman
Published in Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry
Volume 10
Issue 3
Pages 250-269
ISSN 1875-5992
Publication year 2010
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiation Physics
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Surgery
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Pathology
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Pages 250-269
Language en
Keywords Angiogenesis Inhibitors, chemistry, pharmacology, therapeutic use, Antineoplastic Agents, chemistry, pharmacology, therapeutic use, Carcinoid Tumor, drug therapy, radiotherapy, Combined Modality Therapy, Enzyme Inhibitors, chemistry, pharmacology, therapeutic use, Gastrointestinal Neoplasms, drug therapy, radiotherapy, Humans, Signal Transduction, drug effects
Subject categories Pathology, Cancer and Oncology, Radiological physics


Patients with well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumours of the gastrointestinal tract often present with metastases and hormonal symptoms. These patients can be palliated by interventional tumour reduction and medical treatment with somatostatin analogues; no effective chemotherapy is available. Radionuclide therapy via somatostatin receptors is one new therapeutic alternative. The recognition that neuroendocrine tumours express specific receptors for growth factors and chemokines, which are of importance for tumour growth, vascularization, and spread, may open the way for new therapeutic approaches. The signalling pathways in carcinoid tumours are incompletely explored. This review summarizes potential new treatment strategies from clinical and experimental studies, e.g. inhibition of angiogenesis, targeting of growth factors or their receptors by tyrosine kinase inhibitors, interference with specific cellular pathways (mTOR, PI3K, RAS/RAF, Notch), and also inhibition of the proteasome and histone deacetylation. Combining targeted therapy with chemotherapy, or using drugs to sensitize for radionuclide therapy, may enhance the treatment outcome.

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