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Am J Med. 1986 Dec 22;81(6B):14-22.

Neuroendocrine tumors. A European view.


A center in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has established a register for tumors of the gastroenteropancreatic endocrine system. Carcinoid tumors occur most frequently. Of the non-carcinoid tumors, insulinomas, gastrinomas, and unknown types have the highest incidence, with other types being extremely rare. The potentially remediable nature of the tumors is stressed, and frequently a good quality of life can be experienced even in the presence of metastatic disease. The syndromes are probably underdiagnosed as they present with clinical features for which there are more common explanations, and appropriate diagnostic methods are therefore not used. The management of the syndromes is reviewed with particular emphasis on the treatment of patients with inoperable disease. Histamine (H2)-receptor antagonist therapy has made an impact in Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and streptozotocin and somatostatin analogues can control tumor growth and endocrine syndromes, respectively.

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