Long-term follow up of patients affected by pulmonary carcinoid at the Istituto Nazionale Tumori of Milan: a retrospective analysis
Neuroendocrine tumors of the lung involve an heterogeneous group of tumors representing a wide range of histological variants, from well-differentiated typical carcinoid (TC) tumors to poorly differentiated small cell carcinomas. The epidemiology, clinical outcome, and management of these neoplasms differ significantly from other lung malignancies. The main aim of this report consists in describing the single Center experience of the Istituto Nazionale Tumori of Milan on neuroendocrine lung tumors, with an emphasis on bronchopulmonary carcinoid subtypes. From 1986 to 2009, 91 cases of carcinoid tumors were diagnosed; these were divided in two series, according to typical (66 patients) or atypical (25) histotypes. These two groups were compared in relation to various features, including pathologic classification, clinical behavior, treatment modalities and long-term survival. At the moment of diagnosis 11 patients had locally advanced/metastatic disease, while 80 patients showed non metastatic disease. The comparative analysis between typical and atypical series disclosed significant differences in terms of long-term survival; in fact, 5-year and 10-year survival rates were 98 % and 94 % for the first carcinoid series versus 76 % and 18 % for the atypical series, respectively (p<0.001). The median overall survival (OS) was 76 months (range 3-182) for atypical carcinoids and has not yet been reached for TCs patients.