Carcinoid Tumors of the Lung Treatments

What Treatment Options Are Available For Lung Carcinoid Tumors?

Our signature approach to care unites a well-coordinated team of top physicians and other practitioners behind a single goal: the right treatment at the right time for each person who seeks our help.

  • For some especially slow-growing tumors, observation may be the right choice, according to recent results of City of Hope research. Other people may be best served enrolling in trials pioneering new strategies for therapy.
  • We keep the big picture in mind, developing a tailored strategy meant to control the disease while sustaining the quality of life you deserve.


City of Hope surgeons have built up a special depth of experience and expertise. As a result, we can offer options that many other centers cannot.
  • Here, some patients who were facing a pneumonectomy — the removal of an entire lung — have benefited from surgery that removes cancer and leaves the lung intact.
  • Likewise, those otherwise facing the rigors of open surgery often can turn to City of Hope for robotic procedures that are gentler on the body and speed up recovery time.

Imaging and Targeted Therapies

Because systemic chemotherapy works by halting fast-growing cells throughout the body, it is typically not part of the menu of treatments for pulmonary carcinoid tumors. Rather, the current arsenal of therapies to control the malignancies home in on weaknesses of the disease.
  • With City of Hope’s precision medicine approach, we analyze lung carcinoids using a leading-edge test called a gallium-68 PET/CT, or Netspot. We are one of only a few centers in California offering this imaging technology. In a gallium-68 scan, tumor cells that have a higher concentration of receptors for a particular hormone called somatostatin light up.
  • Knowing whether malignant cells are somatostatin-positive helps our oncologists lay out the best strategy for fighting neuroendocrine tumors such as lung carcinoids. The frontline medicines — octeotride and lantreotide — attack cancer cells by keying on those somatostatin receptors. Everolimus, a drug that blocks the action of a different biological pathway called mTOR, is another Food and Drug Administration-approved option that can help patients.
Our overall goal is for each individual to get the most benefit from each treatment available, lengthening life and protecting quality of life.