What is a neuroendocrine tumor/carcinoid tumor?
This web site was created by members of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons. Our goal is to provide accurate, unbiased, and helpful information to any patient with neuroendocrine diseases which may require surgery. If you haven’t already done so, please help us improve this website for future patients by taking a short survey.
Neuroendocrine tumors arise from the neuroendocrine system, which are composed of cells that have features of both nerve cells and endocrine cells and are found though out the body. These cells share certain biochemical functions such as “amine precursor uptake and decarboxylation (or APUD), hence an earlier classification referred to these tumors as APUDomas. The first neuroendocrine tumor was recognized by a German pathologist by the name of Siegfried Oberndorfer, who in 1907 coined the term “carcinoid” or “carcimona-like”, recognizing the relatively low malignant features of this unusual tumor. The term “carcinoid” tumor remains in common use today and refers to a tumor arising from enterochromaffin cells, which are neuroendocrine cells in the gastrointestinal tract. Carcinoids usually secrete serotonin, histamine and other vasoactive substances, which can occasionally cause symptoms of flushing and diarrhea (Carcinoid Syndrome). The other major category of neuroendocrine tumors enc