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Primary Pulmonary Carcinoid Tumor: A Long-term Single Institution Experience

Herde, Ryan, F., MD, MS*; Kokeny, Kristine, E., MD; Reddy, Chakravarthy, B., MD; Akerley, Wallace, L., MD§; Hu, Nan, PhD; Boltax, Jonathan, P., MD; Hitchcock, Ying, J., MD

American Journal of Clinical Oncology: January 2018 - Volume 41 - Issue 1 - p 24–29
doi: 10.1097/COC.0000000000000221
Original Articles: Thoracic

Objectives: Primary carcinoid tumors of the lung are rare tumors which comprise approximately 0.5% to 5% of all lung malignancies in adults and roughly 20% to 30% of all carcinoid tumors. The purpose of this retrospective, descriptive study was to describe the incidence, characteristics, and outcomes of patients treated for primary pulmonary carcinoid tumor at a single institution.

Materials and Methods: All patients with a diagnosis of primary pulmonary carcinoid tumor treated from 1989 to 2009 were reviewed. Data collected included demographics, pathology, tobacco use, clinical presentation, tumor location, tumor spread, treatment, and survival.

Results: There were 59 cases of pulmonary carcinoid tumors: 47 typical (80%) and 12 atypical (20%). All but 4 patients underwent surgery, including 54 (92%) lung-sparing resections and 1 pneumonectomy. Five of 55 patients received concurrent adjuvant chemoradiation therapy; 4 patients with atypical and 1 with typical histology. Three additional patients with atypical carcinoid were treated only with adjuvant radiotherapy, palliative radiotherapy, or palliative chemotherapy, respectively. The Kaplan-Meier 5- and 10-year overall survivals were both 80% within the entire population. In the 88% of patients who achieved complete remission, disease-free survival was 98%. A review of a large series from the literature is also presented.

Conclusions: Surgical resection was primary and adequate therapy for most typical carcinoid tumors with high overall survival and disease-free survival. Adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy might be considered for patients with atypical carcinoid tumors who present with adverse pathologic findings.

*University of Utah School of Medicine

Department of Radiation Oncology, Huntsman Cancer Hospital

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary Medicine

§Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Oncology

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Epidemiology, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

A short-term training for the students in Health Professional Schools was funded by NIH/NHLBI (Grant #: T35 HL007744).

Part of this article has been presented in a abstract form at the Radiological Society of North America Meeting, November 25 to 30, 2012, Chicago, IL.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Ying J. Hitchcock, MD, Department of Radiation Oncology, Huntsman Cancer Hospital, University of Utah, 1950 Circle of Hope, Salt Lake City, UT 84112. E-mail:

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