Overall survival and quality of life in patients with metastatic carcinoid tumors depend on control of tumor growth and suppression of amine-induced symptoms. We report on a series of 10 patients with carcinoid tumors metastatic to the liver who were treated with long-term octreotide acetate therapy (100 to 500 μg three tunes a day), sequential intra-arterial 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) infusions, and hepatic tumor chemoembolization. All 10 patients remained asymptomatic or had extremely mild symptoms after combined modality therapy (mean follow-up duration of 51.5 months). Sixty percent of the patients had a >50% reduction of their tumor size (mean duration 42 months). An additional 30% experienced stabilization of tumor growth for 6 months or longer. Five of the 10 patients are currently alive. The mean group survival is 58 months since diagnosis (range 33 to 115) and 40 months since starting therapy (range 12 to 65). Combining octreotide acetate, intra-arterial 5-FU, and tumor chemoembolization effectively retards tumor growth while providing excellent symptom control.
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