About 40% of patients with small bowel tumors develop carcinoid syndrome (CS) but it takes multiple years before a diagnosis is made. Pasieka et al. reported significant cognitive impairment in NET patients with CS. We plan a prospective, multicentre study to test the hypothesis that somatostatin analogs therapy improves the cognitive dysfunction in these patients.
We propose a pilot feasibility study to assess the research protocol, data collection instruments, recruitment strategies, research techniques in preparation for the larger study. The pilot will enroll 10 CS patients in 4-5 tertiary Canadian cancer centres. We will test with researchers whether the protocol is workable, recruitment of subjects achievable, identify logistical problems with data collection, adequacy of cognitive assessment tools and patients’ adherence to the re-test schedule. Preliminary data collected will help researchers concentrate the protocol on a narrow spectrum of specific cognitive dysfunctions.