Endocrine tumors of the gastrointestinal tract produce a variety of secretory products that cause unique clinical syndromes. Diagnosis, which is often delayed, requires a strong index of suspicion and must be confirmed by biochemical tests. Precisely where these tumors originate remains a topic of controversy. However, several growth factors that may be involved in tumor development have been identified, and genetic abnormalities in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia have been described. New pre- and intraoperative localization techniques have greatly increased the ability to identify and resect these tumors. The long-acting somatostatin analogue octreotide is frequently useful as a tracer to localize tumors and as symptomatic therapy for limiting release of secretory products produced by the tumors. In some instances it may also have direct anti-tumor activity.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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