Article Abstract

Advances on systemic treatment for lung neuroendocrine neoplasms

Authors: Nikolaos Tsoukalas, Panagiotis Baxevanos, Eleni Aravantinou-Fatorou, Maria Tolia, Michail Galanopoulos, Konstantinos Tsapakidis, George Kyrgias, Christos Toumpanakis, Gregory Kaltsas


Lung well-to-moderately differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (also known as carcinoids) and large cell neuroendocrine lung carcinoma (poorly differentiated neuroendocrine tumor) are rare neuroendocrine neoplasms, which account for less than 4% of all lung neoplasms. Due to their low incidence, their systemic treatment is greatly influenced by therapeutic evidence derived from the more frequent gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms and/or small cell lung carcinoma leading to significant bias. Currently, employed systemic therapies for lung carcinoids, aiming at controlling tumor growth include long acting somatostatin analogues (SSAs), peptide receptor radionuclide therapy, chemotherapy and molecular-targeted therapy. In this review, each of those treatments is presented based upon available clinical evidence from retrospective and prospective studies particularly focused on the role of everolimus in the advanced setting and on ongoing clinical trials reflecting our expectations in the near future. In addition, we critically analyse currently employed treatment of large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma where the appropriate chemotherapeutic regimen is still a matter of debate.