Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs; syn. carcinoid tumors) are highly or moderately differentiated neoplasms. They comprise a large variety of rare and heterogeneous tumors with an estimated incidence of 3-5/100,000/year. They can arise in virtually every internal organ, but mainly occur in the gastroenteropancreatic and bronchopulmonary systems. Around 25% of the NETs are localized in the bronchopulmonary system. Approximately 2% of all lung tumors are NETs. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification of lung tumors, bronchopulmonary NETs are subdivided into typical carcinoids (TCs) and atypical carcinoids (ACs). The parameter with the highest impact on NET behavior and prognosis is the histological classification and staging according to the tumor/node/metastasis (TNM) system. The diagnosis of NETs is established by histological examination and the immunohistochemical detection of general neuroendocrine markers, such as chromogranin A (CgA) and synaptophysin. Serum markers and the use of functional imaging techniques are important additive tools to establish the diagnosis of a NET. The only curative option for lung NETs is complete surgical resection. Beyond that, the currently available interdisciplinary therapeutic options are local ablation, biotherapy (somatostatin analogues), or chemotherapy. New therapeutic options such as peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) and molecularly targeted therapies achieve promising results and are under further evaluation. This report is a consensus summary of the interdisciplinary symposium ‘Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Lung and of the Gastroenteropancreatic System (GEP NET) - Expert Dialogue' held on February 25-26, 2011 in Weimar, Germany. At this conference, a panel of 23 German experts shared their knowledge and exchanged their thoughts about research, diagnosis, and clinical management of NETs, whereby special attention was paid to NETs of the respiratory tract.

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