The Lancet Oncology
Volume 18, No. 4, p525–534, April 2017
Daniel M Halperin, MD, Chan Shen, PhD, Arvind Dasari, MD, Ying Xu, MS, Yiyi Chu, MS, Shouhao Zhou, PhD, Prof Ya-Chen Tina Shih, PhD, Prof James C Yao, MD
Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) can secrete bioactive amines into the bloodstream, causing carcinoid syndrome, with symptoms including flushing and diarrhoea. However, carcinoid syndrome frequency in the NET population has never been rigorously assessed, nor has its relationship to presenting clinicopathological characteristics. This analysis assessed the proportion of patients with NETs and carcinoid syndrome in the USA and associated clinical factors.
We identified patients (≥65 years of age) from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database, excluding those with pancreatic tumours or small-cell or large-cell lung cancer, as well as those without complete data. We assessed the incidence of patients with at least two insurance claims of flushing, diarrhoea, or carcinoid syndrome during the 3 months before and after NET diagnosis. We compared demographic and clinical characteristics between patients with and without carcinoid syndrome using χ2 tests. We used the Cochran-Armitage trend test to identify trends in carcinoid syndrome incidence and Cox regression to assess the relationship between carcinoid syndrome and survival.