Sandostatin and/or Somatuline Can Help in Management of Carcinoid Syndrome
Carcinoid tumors are a type of rare slow-growing tumor originating in the neuroendocrine system. Approximately five new clinically significant carcinoid cases are diagnosed each year per 100,000 Americans. Carcinoids are the most common "midway" growth tumors, as they are neither malignant nor benign. They have the potential to be fatal, but they grow very slowly and thus it can be difficult to detect carcinoids early. Approximately 2/3 of carcinoids arise from the gastrointestinal tract.
The only cure for early stage and localized carcinoids is surgery. Because of the nature of chemotherapy and radiation, these forms of treatment do not work well for carcinoids.
Approximately 10% of all carcinoid patients have carcinoid syndrome, which causes an oversecretion of serotonin in the blood. As a result, symptoms such as flushing, diarrhea, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath may occur.
There is currently no cure for carcinoid syndrome. However, Sandostatin (Octreotide) and/or Somatuline (Lanreotide) can help alleviate the symptoms of carcinoid syndrome. According to studies in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and The Oncologist journal, Octreotide, in particular, has shown positive results in patients afflicted with carcinoid syndrome.[5,6] Octreotide is derived from the natural hormone somatostatin, and helps control the secretion of serotonin.
A study by Caplin et al. published in New England Journal of Medicine has shown that Lanreotide, a long acting analogue of Octreotide, has also shown favorable results in intestine related pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
In essence, although there is still a lot of research needed in treating neuroendocrine tumors, the efficacy of Sandostatin and Somatuline look promising. Despite the rarity of these tumors, up to 25% of all GI tract carcinoids are associated at some time with another tumor of non-carcinoid type. These include: colon cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Therefore, finding a cure for carcinoid tumors and carcinoid syndrome can have a wide ranging effect for cancer treatment in the future.
About SC Ali
S.C. Ali is an author/editor. He has a degree in Chemistry, and is interested in the study and practice of medicine. His blog can be found here: http://thebronzelifestyle.com/