Data to guide the management of advanced pulmonary carcinoid (APC) come from retrospective reports and subgroup analyses of trials that included mainly extrapulmonary carcinoid tumors. We report the largest series to date of 49 patients with locally advanced or metastatic pulmonary carcinoid.
The Johns Hopkins Pathology Database was reviewed for APC patients treated between January 1992 and December 2012. Data on time to recurrence, progression-free survival, and overall survival were estimated by using the Kaplan–Meier method.
Forty-nine patients were treated for APC in the specified time period. Median time to recurrence after surgical resection was 2.5 years (atypical carcinoid [AC] versus typical carcinoid [TC], 2.5 versus 6.3 years; p = 0.063). Median survival with advanced disease was 7.1 years and significantly longer for TC compared with AC (10.2 versus 4 years; p = 0.009). Among the diverse systemic therapies used, responses occurred in four of 17 patients (23.5%) who received platinum/etoposide with a median progression-free survival of 7 months.
Although systemic chemotherapy has moderate activity for APC, novel approaches are required. TC and AC, although both classified as pulmonary carcinoid, are clearly different clinical and molecular entities and require separate treatment paradigms in the advanced/metastatic setting.