Results of liver transplantation in the treatment of metastatic neuroendocrine tumors. A 31-case French multicentric report.

Department of Surgery, Hopital de La Conception, Marseilles, France.
Annals of Surgery (Impact Factor: 8.33). 05/1997; 225(4):355-64.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to assess the value and timing of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in the treatment of metastatic neuroendocrine tumors (NET).
Liver metastasis from NET seems less invasive than other secondary tumors. This observation suggests that OLT may be indicated when other therapies become ineffective. However, the potential benefit of this highly aggressive procedure is difficult to assess due to the scarcity and heterogeneity of NET.
A retrospective multicentric study was carried out, including all cases of OLT for NET performed in France between 1989 and 1994. There were 15 cases of metastatic carcinoid tumor and 16 cases of islet cell carcinomas. Hormone-related symptoms were present in 16 cases (55%). Only 5 patients (16%) had no previous surgical or medical therapy before OLT. Median delay from diagnosis of liver metastasis and OLT was 19 months (range, 2 to 120).
The primary tumor was removed at the time of OLT in 11 cases, by upper abdominal exenteration in 7 cases and the Whipple resection in 3. Actuarial survival rate after OLT was 59% at 1 year, 47% at 3 years, and 36% at 5 years. Survival rates were significantly higher for metastatic carcinoid tumors (69% at 5 years) than for noncarcinoid apudomas (8% at 4 years), because of higher tumor- and non-tumor-related mortality rates for the latter.
OLT can achieve control of hormonal symptoms and prolong survival in selected patients with liver metastasis of carcinoid tumors. It does not seem indicated for other NET.

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Available from: Jean Robert Delpero, Jul 31, 2015
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    • "Most series have reported high rates of perioperative mortality and early tumor recurrence. One multicenter European study reported a 5-year survival rate of 36% among highly selected patients who had metastatic carcinoid tumors [97]. Because many patients who have metastatic carcinoid may have indolent disease and encouraging 5-year survival rates without treatment, however, it is difficult to assess the impact of hepatic transplantation in this population. "
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    ABSTRACT: The generally indolent nature of neuroendocrine tumors is an advantage in the management of patients who have localized disease, and surgery alone is often curative. This same property presents a challenge in the treatment of patients who have metastatic disease, in whom standard cytotoxic chemotherapy has a limited benefit. In such patients, the use of somatostatin analogs, interferon, and the treatment of hepatic metastases may provide effective palliation. The highly vascular nature of carcinoid tumors has led to the investigation of antiangiogenic agents in this setting. Preliminary reports of activity associated with agents targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway suggest that such strategies may play a role in the future treatment of patients who have this disease.
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