Eur J Clin Invest 2011; 41 (12): 1353–1360
Endocrine tumours derived from the small intestine, ileal carcinoids, produce and secrete the hormones tachykinins and serotonin, which induces the specific symptoms related to the tumour. Because of their low proliferation rate, they are often discovered at late stages when metastases have occurred. The biology that characterizes these tumours differs in many ways from what is generally recognized for other malignancies. In this overview, the current knowledge on the development and progression of ileal carcinoids is described.