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Patients with carcinoid syndrome usually die from carcinomatosis, rather than the pharmacological effects of the tumour. Functioning carcinoid tumours are resistant to radiotherapy. Twenty-four different cytotoxic drugs or combinations have been used to treat the carcinoid syndrome, but only actinomycin D, cyclophosphamide, 5-fluorouracil, melphalan, methotrexate, and streptozotocin have been tried as single agents in more than five patients. 5-Fluorouracil and streptozotocin were the most effective single agents, but their use in combination did not increase response rates. No drug combination was superior to single-agent therapy. Adriamycin has not been tested as a single agent, but results with it used in combination suggest it should be further evaluated. Liposome-encapsulated drugs may be tested, because of selective hepatic uptake.


Journal article


Cancer Chemother Pharmacol

Publication Date





133 - 138


Antineoplastic Agents, Drug Therapy, Combination, Humans, Malignant Carcinoid Syndrome