A study to learn more about heart disease in people with carcinoid tumours

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Neuroendocrine tumour (NET)





This study is looking at body fluid samples and heart ultrasound scans (echocardiograms) Open a glossary item to learn more about heart disease caused by carcinoid tumours. Carcinoid tumours are rare, and mostly slow growing cancers. They are one type of tumour of the neuroendocrine system Open a glossary item. They may grow anywhere, but most start in the digestive system.

Carcinoid tumours may release hormones Open a glossary item that cause particular symptoms, for example flushing of the face, and diarrhoea. Doctors call this collection of symptoms carcinoid syndrome. The same hormones that produce these symptoms may also cause damage to the valves on the right side of the heart. This is called carcinoid heart disease. Carcinoid heart disease does not always need treatment, but if it does, surgeons can replace these valves.

At the moment, doctors don’t know who is most likely to develop carcinoid heart disease, when it is likely to develop, or how to test for it. In this study, researchers will look at chemicals in blood and urine samples from people with carcinoid tumours. And see if there is a link between these results and the results of the heart ultrasound scans. The aims of this study include

  • Finding new chemical markers that may predict how severe carcinoid heart disease is
  • Seeing if modern heart ultrasound tests show up carcinoid heart disease

Who can enter

You may be able to enter this study if you are being cared for at one of the hospitals taking part in the study, and you

  • Have a type of cancer called carcinoid, and this has spread to another part of your body
  • Are at least 18 years old

You cannot enter this study if

  • The specialist carrying out the heart ultrasound (echocardiogram Open a glossary item) would not be able have a clear enough view of your heart on the scan for any reason– you can ask your doctor about this
  • You have had any of your heart valves replaced

The team also hopes to recruit 50 healthy volunteers. The healthy volunteers will not have high blood pressure, heart disease, not have had a stroke, or be taking any regular medication.

Trial design

The team hope to recruit 300 to 400 people with carcinoid. They will also recruit 50 healthy volunteers.

Everyone with carcinoid will have the following tests when they come for 2 of their routine clinic appointments

  • Blood tests
  • Heart ultrasound (echocardiogram)
  • Urine test

During your echocardiogram, if the team need to take a closer look at your heart, they will put a small thin plastic tube (cannula) into a vein in your arm or hand.  They will inject sterile water through this into your bloodstream.  This will help the scan take clearer pictures of the right side of your heart.

Everyone will also fill out a questionnaire at these visits. The questionnaire will ask about any side effects you have had and about how you have been feeling. This is called a quality of life study.

The healthy volunteers will just have one echocardiogram session.

Hospital visits

You will have the study tests and complete the quality of life questionnaires on 2 of your routine appointments with your carcinoid specialist. The team expect these to be about 6 to 12 months apart.

The study tests will add 60 minutes to your appointment time.

If you are a healthy volunteer, you will need to visit the hospital once to have your study echocardiogram session.

Side effects

You should not have any side effects as a result of taking part in this study.

The team will send a copy of the echocardiogram report to your carcinoid specialist and your family doctor. If the report shows any problems, they will refer you to a heart specialist if needed. So before agreeing to take part, you should check if this affects any private health insurance you may have.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Dr Dan Cuthbertson

Supported by

Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 5932

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Around 1 in 5 people take part in clinical trials

3 phases of trials

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.

Last reviewed:

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