How are carcinoid tumors staged?

Updated: Feb 12, 2019
  • Author: Cameron K Tebbi, MD; Chief Editor: Max J Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends that tumor differentiation, mitotic rate, and Ki-67 rate be included in the pathology report and that the specific classification and grading scheme be noted to avoid confusion. Clinicians are advised to view histologic grade as a general guide and use clinical judgment to make treatment decisions, particularly in cases of discordance between differentiation and Ki-67 proliferation results. [103]

NCCN guidelines recommend staging according to the 7th edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer's AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. [103]  The AJCC uses separate staging systems for carcinoids of the stomach, duodenum/ampulla/jejunum/ileum, colon/rectum, and appendix, as well as adrenal gland tumors. Bronchopulmonary carcinoids are staged using the same system as for other pulmonary malignancies, and pancreatic NETS are staged the same as for exocrine pancreatic tumors. [104]

For staging of GEP-NETs, the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESM0) guidelines, updated in 2012, utilize the tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) classification created by the ENETS and the 2010 WHO grading system.8 For staging of bronchopulmonary and thymus NETs, the ESMO prefers the AJCC system. [102] For adrenal carcinoma staging, the 2009 European Network for the Study of Adrenal Tumors (ENSAT) TNM system is recommended over the AJCC system. [105]

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