Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: presentation, management, and outcomes

Nissen NN, Kim AS, Yu R, Wolin EM, Friedman ML, Lo SK, Wachsman AM, Colquhoun SD

Am Surg. 2009 October; 75(10): 1025-9

Abstract: Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) are an uncommon pancreatic neoplasm. We reviewed the presentation, management, and outcome of patients with pNETs treated at a single center by a multidisciplinary approach between 2004 and 2008. Over this time period, 154 patients with carcinoid and neuroendocrine tumors were treated, which included 46 patients (30% of total) with pNETs. The most common presentations included abdominal pain (20 of 46 [43%]), systemic symptoms such as hypoglycemia (15 of 46 [33%]), and incidental mass (7 of 46 [15%]). Fourteen patients had functional tumors. At the time of diagnosis, 22 patients (48%) presented without metastases and 24 (52%) had metastatic disease. Median follow up for the entire group was 42 months. All patients with nonmetastatic pNET underwent pancreatic resection with 95 per cent postoperative survival. Overall survival in this group at 3 years was 86 per cent and disease-free survival was 81 per cent. In patients presenting with metastatic pNET, multiple treatment modalities were used, including liver resection or ablation (n = 15), hepatic chemoembolization (n = 17), pancreatic resection (n = 12), and systemic treatments (n = 7). Three-year survival was 70 per cent. Pancreatic resection results in greater than 80 per cent 3-year survival in nonmetastatic pNET. In patients presenting with metastatic pNET, excellent survival rates are also achievable using a multidisciplinary multimodal approach.


Department of Surgery, Center for Liver Diseases and Transplantation, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, 8635 W 3rd Street, Suite 590W, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.

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