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Minerva Chir. 2000 Jan-Feb;55(1-2):7-16.

[Neuroendocrine tumors of the lung].

[Article in Italian]

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Dipartimento di Fisiopatologia Clinica, Università degli Studi, Torino.



To review the patients treated at our Institute over the past 22 years and to evaluate the behaviour of 14 atypical carcinoids on the basis of Capella's classification (1994), defining the most suitable surgical approach.


A total of 118 patients undergoing surgery for lung neuroendocrine tumours were reanalyzed on the basis of their anatomic and pathological characteristics, surgical treatment and survival.


The 5-year survival rate was 96.5% for typical forms and 74.5% for atypical forms; the 10-year survival rate was 92.4% for typical forms and 49.8% for atypical forms (p < 0.001). Lymph node metastatic involvement was also an important contributing factor for survival (p < 0.05). A review of the series of 19 patients treated over the past 6 years, diagnosed with so-called atypical carcinoid based on Capella's anatomic and pathological classification, showed that 5 were well differentiated neuroendocrine tumours (WDNT), 8 well differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas (WDNC) and 1 small-cell lung neuroendocrine carcinoma (SLCL). From a surgical point of view, 10 cases underwent demolitive surgery and 9 conservative surgery. The overall actuarial survival rate in this series was 78% at 5 years, 100% for WDNT and 75% for WDNC. The only case of SCLC died after a few months.


The authors conclude that the 5 and 10-year probability of survival are closely linked to the histological type of the lung neuroendocrine tumour and the presence of lymph node metastasis. Capella's new anatomic and pathological classification helps to establish a more precise prognosis for so-called atypical carcinoids. Lastly, given the malignant potential of these tumours, preference should be given to radical exeresis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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