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Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors are relatively rare and tend to be slow-growing, but they can impact and compromise quality of life by obstructing food digestion and triggering a potentially serious condition called carcinoid syndrome. To ensure optimal treatment outcomes, early detection and prompt medical care is crucial.
 
City of Hope has one of the most experienced gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor programs in the United States, with a multidisciplinary team that takes an integrated approach to detecting and treating carcinoid tumors in the digestive tract. This includes using advanced technologies and specialized techniques such as:
 
  • minimally-invasive, robotically-assisted techniques for complex surgeries that can remove tumors with less discomfort, reduced risk of complications and shorter recovery times
  • highly precise radiation therapy that can target hard-to-resect tumors with minimal exposure to surrounding normal tissue
  • targeted drugs and drug combinations that can treat advanced carcinoid tumors with greater effectiveness and fewer side effects, compared to traditional chemotherapy
  • combination regimens integrating surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy for maximum cancer-fighting effectiveness
 
Additionally, City of Hope patients have access to our extensive team of supportive care experts - including dieticians, supportive medicine physicians and rehabilitation specialists. Working closely with the patient’s primary care team, they can detect and address quality of life issues related to carcinoid tumors and their treatments. This includes managing symptoms (such as pain, nausea and fatigue), adjusting to a new diet and lifestyle post-treatment (particularly following more extensive treatments) and being aware of possible long-term effects.
 
 
As one of a handful of institutes to attain the elite designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is acknowledged as a leader in gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor research and treatment. With our decades of experience, specialized therapy protocols and extensive program of clinical trials, newly diagnosed or relapsed patients can find a treatment regimen that is tailored to their needs and gives them the best chance for survival. U.S. News & World Report also named City of Hope as one of the top cancer hospitals in the country.
 
 
In collaboration with other departments and cancer centers, City of Hope’s gastrointestinal carcinoid cancer program has an active portfolio of clinical trials studying novel treatments, including trials of new surgery, radiation and drug therapy regimens that are more effective against the disease and/or less harmful to the patient. Many of these promising therapies are only available to patients being treated at City of Hope.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.
 
 

Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors Team

About Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors are characterized by malignancy (abnormal and uncontrollably dividing) in neuroendocrine cells of the digestive system. These cells are normally responsible for digestion and nutrient absorption by controlling food movement and release of digestive juices in the stomach and intestines.
 
In addition to uncontrolled growth and spread, gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors may also cause a condition called carcinoid syndrome by releasing harmful amounts of hormones into the bloodstream. Left untreated, carcinoid syndrome can lead to life-threatening dehydration (from severe nausea and diarrhea) and heart failure.
 
The majority of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors are found in the small intestine, appendix and rectum, but they can appear in the stomach and colon as well.
 
Signs and Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors
 
The symptoms caused by gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors depend on the digestive organ it appears on. These symptoms can include:
 
  • Stools that are bloody, abnormally colored or lighter/darker than usual
  • Changes in bowel movement patterns
  • Feeling discomfort, pain or fullness in the abdominal or rectal region
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Fatigue and weakness
 
Additionally, 5 to 10 percent of carcinoid tumors release enough hormones to cause carcinoid syndrome, characterized by:
 
  • rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • severe diarrhea
  • wheezing and shortness of breath
  • flushing (redness or warmth) in the head and neck area
 
While many of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions, early gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor detection is crucial to successful treatment. If you or a loved one experiences any of the above symptoms, and especially those corresponding to carcinoid syndrome, please contact a doctor for further evaluation.
 
Risk Factors of Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors
 
Risk factors associated with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors include:
 
  • Diseases and Conditions:
    • Genetic Conditions: Inherited gene mutations that are passed from parents to children can significantly raise gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor risk. These include multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN-1), neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF-1) and von Hippel Lindau disease (VHL)
    • Pernicious Anemia: Also known as Addison’s or Biermer’s anemia, this specific type of anemia (characterized by large, abnormal red blood cells) is linked to a higher gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor risk
    • Stomach Conditions: People with stomach conditions (particularly those affecting its ability to produce acid) are at a greater risk of developing carcinoid tumors in that organ
  • Ethnicity: African-Americans are at a greater risk of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors, compared to non-Hispanic Caucasians
  • Gender: Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors are slightly more common in women
  • Tobacco Use: Some studies link smoking to a higher risk of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors
 
If you suspect that you or a loved one may have an elevated risk of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors, please consult with a doctor on preventive and early detection measures that are available.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.
 

Diagnosing Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Cancer

Diagnosing Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors
 
A timely and accurate detection of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors is essential to planning the best course of treatment. In addition to a routine physical examination and blood tests, City of Hope doctors may also use the following tests to diagnose gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors:
 
  • 3D computed tomography (CT) scan: Using advanced imaging technology and specialized techniques, radiologists at City of Hope can obtain highly clear and precise images of the small intestine. This allows the care team to better detect and locate tumors they can be targeted with minimal impact on surrounding normal tissues.
  • Endoscopy: A thin, flexible tube is inserted either through the mouth or a small abdominal incision to examine the stomach and small intestine for carcinoid tumors. The endoscope may also be equipped with a tool to extract suspicious tissues for further evaluation. In addition to carcinoid tumors, this procedure can also detect stomach (gastric) and small intestine cancers as well.
  • Colonoscopy: Using a flexible, thin lit tube, a physician will examine the rectum and entire colon for cancerous changes. In addition to finding carcinoid tumors, colonoscopy also allows the doctor to detect and remove colorectal cancer and precancerous tissues, such as polyps.
  • Barium X-rays: A silver-white metallic compound is administered either orally, with an enema and/or through a small abdominal incision. This compound coats the stomach and intestinal lining, allowing for better visualization of abnormalities when X-rays are taken.
  • Biopsy: Abnormal-looking cells are extracted and checked by a pathologist for cancerous signs. Imaging tests may be used guide the biopsy to ensure accuracy.
  • Genetic testing: A genetic test of the cells extracted during biopsy can show whether the cancer is sensitive or resistant to specific treatments, so your care team can plan the most effective regimen against the disease.
 
Other tests that may be used for diagnosis or further evaluation include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and ultrasound scans.
 
Staging Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors
 
To properly plan for treatment, gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor patients are staged in accordance to how advanced the disease is. This is primarily done by taking a number of factors into consideration, including:
 
  • Size of the tumor
  • If the tumor has grown into a blood vessel or adjacent organs
  • Whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and how many lymph nodes are affected
  • Whether the cancer has metastasized to distant organs
  • If the tumor can be completely removed by surgery
 
Based on these factors, patients are staged according to their risk level, with higher risk patients typically requiring more intensive treatments.
 
More information on gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor staging criteria is available on the American Cancer Society’s website.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.
 

Our Treatment Approach to Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

City of Hope has one of the most renowned gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor programs in the United States, with a multidisciplinary team of medical experts across different fields including surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology and supportive care medicine. Together, they work collaboratively to plan and implement a treatment regimen that is individually tailored to the patient to improve survival chances, enhance outcomes and boost quality of life.

Surgery

Surgery is often the primary treatment for carcinoid tumors, and it can be curative for early stage patients and can also greatly improve survival outcomes and reduce discomfort for later stage patients.
 
City of Hope’s surgeons specialize in minimally invasive and robotically-assisted surgical procedures to treat gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors. By using smaller incisions compared to an open procedure, patients experience less pain, recover faster, have shorter hospital stays and are less likely to have post-surgical complications.
 
The expertise of City of Hope’s surgeons also means that they can treat and remove tumors that are considered inoperable elsewhere. This is done through advanced procedures that can navigate around sensitive areas (such as major blood vessels) and working with radiation and medical oncologists, who may be able to shrink the tumor to down to an operable size and shape with radiation and drug therapies.
 
Surgery may also be performed to alleviate symptoms associated with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors, such as digestive tract obstruction or symptoms linked to the tumor’s hormone release.
 

Radiation Therapy

Radiation can be used alone or in conjunction with other therapies to treat gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors by killing cancerous cells or preventing the tumor growing larger. It is applied externally using one or more radioactive beams focused on the tumor.
 
Radiation therapy can also improve quality of life by relieving symptoms and stopping bleeds.
 
In addition to standard radiation regimens, City of Hope also offers Helical TomoTherapy, an advance technology combining radiation delivery with advanced imaging. This allows the radiation beams to be “sculpted” to the tumor’s size and shape, resulting in more focused radiation on the cancer site while minimizing exposure to adjacent tissues and organs.
 

Drug Therapy

City of Hope uses a wide range of chemotherapy and targeted therapy drugs to treat localized, regional and metastatic gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors. In addition to standard drug regimens, patients have access to newly developed drugs (or drug combinations) through our clinical trials program.
 
Cancer fighting drugs can also enhance the effectiveness of surgery or radiation therapy, by shrinking the tumor before the procedure and making it easier to remove (neoadjuvant therapy), or given after the procedure to minimize the chance of recurrence (adjuvant therapy.)
 
Chemotherapy may also be given alongside radiation therapy to enhance the cancer-fighting effectiveness of both (chemoradiation.)
As part of the treatment team, a medical oncologist will evaluate the patient’s cancer, health and other factors, so that the chemotherapy, if appropriate, can be tailored to the patient throughout the continuum of care.
 

Become a Patient

If you have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.
 

Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors Research and Clinical Trials

There is extensive collaboration between City of Hope clinicians and researchers to develop and evaluate new cancer therapies designed to improve survival and quality of life outcomes. City of Hope patients have access to a wide variety of clinical trials ranging from new chemotherapy and targeted therapies, novel surgical techniques, new radiation approaches and strategies to minimize side effects and chances of cancer recurrence.
 
If you are interested in participating in a study, please discuss with your primary doctor about open trials and their eligibility criteria.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.
 

Living with Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

While our primary goal is to cure or control the disease, another top priority is relieving suffering and discomfort for gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor patients undergoing cancer treatments.
 
In addition to curative treatments, City of Hope gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor patients and their caregivers have access to the broad range of services offered by our Department of Supportive Care Medicine. The department’s staff of professionals, including registered dieticians, rehabilitation specialists, supportive medicine physicians and clinical social workers, can help patients and loved ones with a variety of care and wellness issues including:
 
  • Managing cancer or treatment effects such as pain, nausea and fatigue
  • Palliative care to reduce discomfort and stress, physical and mental, throughout diagnosis and treatment
  • Adjusting to new dietary and lifestyle habits following gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor treatment
  • Coping and maintaining emotional/social/spiritual well-being
  • Navigating through the health care system
  • Staying healthy and active during/after treatment
  • Healing arts
  • Building caregivers’ skills
 
The Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center is the physical space and the heart of the Department of Supportive Care Medicine, integrating all support services in a central location. The Biller Resource Center provides a warm and welcoming space where patients, families and caregivers can access the resources, education and support they need to strengthen and empower themselves, before, during and after treatment.
 
For more information or to contact the Biller Resource Center staff, please call 626-256-4673, ext. 32273 (3CARE).
 
 
This site includes tips, tools and online resources to help cancer patients and their families with issues that arise during cancer treatment.

Additional Resources
 
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.
 

Support this program

It takes the help of a lot of caring people to make hope a reality for our patients. City of Hope was founded by individuals' philanthropic efforts more than 100 years ago. Their efforts − and those of our supporters today − have built the foundation for the care we provide and the research we conduct. It enables us to strive for new breakthroughs and better therapies − helping more people enjoy longer, better lives.

For more information on supporting this specific program, please contact us below.

Joe Komsky
Senior Development Officer
Phone: 626-218-6291
Email: jkomsky@coh.org

 
 

Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors are relatively rare and tend to be slow-growing, but they can impact and compromise quality of life by obstructing food digestion and triggering a potentially serious condition called carcinoid syndrome. To ensure optimal treatment outcomes, early detection and prompt medical care is crucial.
 
City of Hope has one of the most experienced gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor programs in the United States, with a multidisciplinary team that takes an integrated approach to detecting and treating carcinoid tumors in the digestive tract. This includes using advanced technologies and specialized techniques such as:
 
  • minimally-invasive, robotically-assisted techniques for complex surgeries that can remove tumors with less discomfort, reduced risk of complications and shorter recovery times
  • highly precise radiation therapy that can target hard-to-resect tumors with minimal exposure to surrounding normal tissue
  • targeted drugs and drug combinations that can treat advanced carcinoid tumors with greater effectiveness and fewer side effects, compared to traditional chemotherapy
  • combination regimens integrating surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and immunotherapy for maximum cancer-fighting effectiveness
 
Additionally, City of Hope patients have access to our extensive team of supportive care experts - including dieticians, supportive medicine physicians and rehabilitation specialists. Working closely with the patient’s primary care team, they can detect and address quality of life issues related to carcinoid tumors and their treatments. This includes managing symptoms (such as pain, nausea and fatigue), adjusting to a new diet and lifestyle post-treatment (particularly following more extensive treatments) and being aware of possible long-term effects.
 
 
As one of a handful of institutes to attain the elite designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is acknowledged as a leader in gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor research and treatment. With our decades of experience, specialized therapy protocols and extensive program of clinical trials, newly diagnosed or relapsed patients can find a treatment regimen that is tailored to their needs and gives them the best chance for survival. U.S. News & World Report also named City of Hope as one of the top cancer hospitals in the country.
 
 
In collaboration with other departments and cancer centers, City of Hope’s gastrointestinal carcinoid cancer program has an active portfolio of clinical trials studying novel treatments, including trials of new surgery, radiation and drug therapy regimens that are more effective against the disease and/or less harmful to the patient. Many of these promising therapies are only available to patients being treated at City of Hope.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.
 
 

Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors Team

Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors Team

About Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

About Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors are characterized by malignancy (abnormal and uncontrollably dividing) in neuroendocrine cells of the digestive system. These cells are normally responsible for digestion and nutrient absorption by controlling food movement and release of digestive juices in the stomach and intestines.
 
In addition to uncontrolled growth and spread, gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors may also cause a condition called carcinoid syndrome by releasing harmful amounts of hormones into the bloodstream. Left untreated, carcinoid syndrome can lead to life-threatening dehydration (from severe nausea and diarrhea) and heart failure.
 
The majority of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors are found in the small intestine, appendix and rectum, but they can appear in the stomach and colon as well.
 
Signs and Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors
 
The symptoms caused by gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors depend on the digestive organ it appears on. These symptoms can include:
 
  • Stools that are bloody, abnormally colored or lighter/darker than usual
  • Changes in bowel movement patterns
  • Feeling discomfort, pain or fullness in the abdominal or rectal region
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Fatigue and weakness
 
Additionally, 5 to 10 percent of carcinoid tumors release enough hormones to cause carcinoid syndrome, characterized by:
 
  • rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • severe diarrhea
  • wheezing and shortness of breath
  • flushing (redness or warmth) in the head and neck area
 
While many of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions, early gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor detection is crucial to successful treatment. If you or a loved one experiences any of the above symptoms, and especially those corresponding to carcinoid syndrome, please contact a doctor for further evaluation.
 
Risk Factors of Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors
 
Risk factors associated with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors include:
 
  • Diseases and Conditions:
    • Genetic Conditions: Inherited gene mutations that are passed from parents to children can significantly raise gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor risk. These include multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN-1), neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF-1) and von Hippel Lindau disease (VHL)
    • Pernicious Anemia: Also known as Addison’s or Biermer’s anemia, this specific type of anemia (characterized by large, abnormal red blood cells) is linked to a higher gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor risk
    • Stomach Conditions: People with stomach conditions (particularly those affecting its ability to produce acid) are at a greater risk of developing carcinoid tumors in that organ
  • Ethnicity: African-Americans are at a greater risk of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors, compared to non-Hispanic Caucasians
  • Gender: Gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors are slightly more common in women
  • Tobacco Use: Some studies link smoking to a higher risk of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors
 
If you suspect that you or a loved one may have an elevated risk of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors, please consult with a doctor on preventive and early detection measures that are available.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.
 

Diagnosing Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

Diagnosing Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Cancer

Diagnosing Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors
 
A timely and accurate detection of gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors is essential to planning the best course of treatment. In addition to a routine physical examination and blood tests, City of Hope doctors may also use the following tests to diagnose gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors:
 
  • 3D computed tomography (CT) scan: Using advanced imaging technology and specialized techniques, radiologists at City of Hope can obtain highly clear and precise images of the small intestine. This allows the care team to better detect and locate tumors they can be targeted with minimal impact on surrounding normal tissues.
  • Endoscopy: A thin, flexible tube is inserted either through the mouth or a small abdominal incision to examine the stomach and small intestine for carcinoid tumors. The endoscope may also be equipped with a tool to extract suspicious tissues for further evaluation. In addition to carcinoid tumors, this procedure can also detect stomach (gastric) and small intestine cancers as well.
  • Colonoscopy: Using a flexible, thin lit tube, a physician will examine the rectum and entire colon for cancerous changes. In addition to finding carcinoid tumors, colonoscopy also allows the doctor to detect and remove colorectal cancer and precancerous tissues, such as polyps.
  • Barium X-rays: A silver-white metallic compound is administered either orally, with an enema and/or through a small abdominal incision. This compound coats the stomach and intestinal lining, allowing for better visualization of abnormalities when X-rays are taken.
  • Biopsy: Abnormal-looking cells are extracted and checked by a pathologist for cancerous signs. Imaging tests may be used guide the biopsy to ensure accuracy.
  • Genetic testing: A genetic test of the cells extracted during biopsy can show whether the cancer is sensitive or resistant to specific treatments, so your care team can plan the most effective regimen against the disease.
 
Other tests that may be used for diagnosis or further evaluation include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and ultrasound scans.
 
Staging Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors
 
To properly plan for treatment, gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor patients are staged in accordance to how advanced the disease is. This is primarily done by taking a number of factors into consideration, including:
 
  • Size of the tumor
  • If the tumor has grown into a blood vessel or adjacent organs
  • Whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes and how many lymph nodes are affected
  • Whether the cancer has metastasized to distant organs
  • If the tumor can be completely removed by surgery
 
Based on these factors, patients are staged according to their risk level, with higher risk patients typically requiring more intensive treatments.
 
More information on gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor staging criteria is available on the American Cancer Society’s website.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.
 

Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor Treatments

Our Treatment Approach to Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

City of Hope has one of the most renowned gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor programs in the United States, with a multidisciplinary team of medical experts across different fields including surgery, radiation oncology, medical oncology and supportive care medicine. Together, they work collaboratively to plan and implement a treatment regimen that is individually tailored to the patient to improve survival chances, enhance outcomes and boost quality of life.

Surgery

Surgery is often the primary treatment for carcinoid tumors, and it can be curative for early stage patients and can also greatly improve survival outcomes and reduce discomfort for later stage patients.
 
City of Hope’s surgeons specialize in minimally invasive and robotically-assisted surgical procedures to treat gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors. By using smaller incisions compared to an open procedure, patients experience less pain, recover faster, have shorter hospital stays and are less likely to have post-surgical complications.
 
The expertise of City of Hope’s surgeons also means that they can treat and remove tumors that are considered inoperable elsewhere. This is done through advanced procedures that can navigate around sensitive areas (such as major blood vessels) and working with radiation and medical oncologists, who may be able to shrink the tumor to down to an operable size and shape with radiation and drug therapies.
 
Surgery may also be performed to alleviate symptoms associated with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors, such as digestive tract obstruction or symptoms linked to the tumor’s hormone release.
 

Radiation Therapy

Radiation can be used alone or in conjunction with other therapies to treat gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors by killing cancerous cells or preventing the tumor growing larger. It is applied externally using one or more radioactive beams focused on the tumor.
 
Radiation therapy can also improve quality of life by relieving symptoms and stopping bleeds.
 
In addition to standard radiation regimens, City of Hope also offers Helical TomoTherapy, an advance technology combining radiation delivery with advanced imaging. This allows the radiation beams to be “sculpted” to the tumor’s size and shape, resulting in more focused radiation on the cancer site while minimizing exposure to adjacent tissues and organs.
 

Drug Therapy

City of Hope uses a wide range of chemotherapy and targeted therapy drugs to treat localized, regional and metastatic gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors. In addition to standard drug regimens, patients have access to newly developed drugs (or drug combinations) through our clinical trials program.
 
Cancer fighting drugs can also enhance the effectiveness of surgery or radiation therapy, by shrinking the tumor before the procedure and making it easier to remove (neoadjuvant therapy), or given after the procedure to minimize the chance of recurrence (adjuvant therapy.)
 
Chemotherapy may also be given alongside radiation therapy to enhance the cancer-fighting effectiveness of both (chemoradiation.)
As part of the treatment team, a medical oncologist will evaluate the patient’s cancer, health and other factors, so that the chemotherapy, if appropriate, can be tailored to the patient throughout the continuum of care.
 

Become a Patient

If you have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.
 

Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumor Research

Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors Research and Clinical Trials

There is extensive collaboration between City of Hope clinicians and researchers to develop and evaluate new cancer therapies designed to improve survival and quality of life outcomes. City of Hope patients have access to a wide variety of clinical trials ranging from new chemotherapy and targeted therapies, novel surgical techniques, new radiation approaches and strategies to minimize side effects and chances of cancer recurrence.
 
If you are interested in participating in a study, please discuss with your primary doctor about open trials and their eligibility criteria.
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.
 

Living with Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

Living with Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

While our primary goal is to cure or control the disease, another top priority is relieving suffering and discomfort for gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor patients undergoing cancer treatments.
 
In addition to curative treatments, City of Hope gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor patients and their caregivers have access to the broad range of services offered by our Department of Supportive Care Medicine. The department’s staff of professionals, including registered dieticians, rehabilitation specialists, supportive medicine physicians and clinical social workers, can help patients and loved ones with a variety of care and wellness issues including:
 
  • Managing cancer or treatment effects such as pain, nausea and fatigue
  • Palliative care to reduce discomfort and stress, physical and mental, throughout diagnosis and treatment
  • Adjusting to new dietary and lifestyle habits following gastrointestinal carcinoid tumor treatment
  • Coping and maintaining emotional/social/spiritual well-being
  • Navigating through the health care system
  • Staying healthy and active during/after treatment
  • Healing arts
  • Building caregivers’ skills
 
The Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center is the physical space and the heart of the Department of Supportive Care Medicine, integrating all support services in a central location. The Biller Resource Center provides a warm and welcoming space where patients, families and caregivers can access the resources, education and support they need to strengthen and empower themselves, before, during and after treatment.
 
For more information or to contact the Biller Resource Center staff, please call 626-256-4673, ext. 32273 (3CARE).
 
 
This site includes tips, tools and online resources to help cancer patients and their families with issues that arise during cancer treatment.

Additional Resources
 
 
 
If you have been diagnosed with gastrointestinal carcinoid tumors or are looking for a second opinion consultation about your treatment, find out more about becoming a patient by calling 800-826-HOPE or filling out the Request a New Patient Appointment Online form.
 

Support This Program

Support this program

It takes the help of a lot of caring people to make hope a reality for our patients. City of Hope was founded by individuals' philanthropic efforts more than 100 years ago. Their efforts − and those of our supporters today − have built the foundation for the care we provide and the research we conduct. It enables us to strive for new breakthroughs and better therapies − helping more people enjoy longer, better lives.

For more information on supporting this specific program, please contact us below.

Joe Komsky
Senior Development Officer
Phone: 626-218-6291
Email: jkomsky@coh.org

 
 
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  • In 1975, the median survival for patients with ovarian cancer was about 12 months. Today, the median survival is more than 5 years. Although researchers and clinicians are far from satisfied, the progress in ovarian cancer treatment is encouraging, said Robert Morgan, M.D., F.A.C.P., professor of medical oncolo...
  • Colorectal cancer may be one of the most common cancers in both men and women, but it’s also one of the most curable cancers. Today, because of effective screening tests and more advanced treatment options, there are more than 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States. Here, colorectal...
  • Breast cancer treatment can damage a woman’s ability to become pregnant, making the impact on fertility one of the key factors that many consider when choosing a therapy regimen. Now a study has found that breast cancer patients treated with a hormone-blocking drug in addition to chemotherapy were less li...
  • My colleagues in the clinic know I’ve got a soft spot. Last week, a patient of mine offered me a fantastic compliment. “You’re looking younger these days, Dr. Pal!” she said, offering me a big hug as she proceeded out of the clinic room. Lovely, I thought. The early morning workouts are paying off. She continue...