[Surgery for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors]

Division of Biological Regulation and Oncology, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.
Nippon Geka Gakkai zasshi 11/2012; 113(6):502-6.
Source: PubMed


Approximately half of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) are nonfunctioning, and insulinoma and gastrinoma are frequent forms of functioning tumors. The treatment of patients with PNETs should be based on the consideration that more than half are malignant except for insulinomas. Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is often complicated with gastrinoma. Endoscopic ultrasound and somatostain receptor scintigraphy are useful in diagnosing PNETs, and the selective arterial secretagogue injection test is performed if necessary. WHO2010 is available as a histopathologic grading system of malignancy. Although surgical resection should first be considered as a treatment for PNETs, liver metastasis is a major factor hindering resection. In Japan, the choices of drugs to treat liver metastases are too few. In patients with MEN1 in whom PNETS are frequently multiple, we should perform procedures that preserve pancreatic function, although some patients may require total pancreatectomy for the complete resection of tumors. The indications for total pancreatectomy should be determined individually based on the tumor status and patient age.

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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (P-NET) is rare and slow-growing. Current classifications predict its prognosis and postoperative recurrence. Curative resection is ideal, although often difficult, because over 80% of patients have unresectable multiple liver metastases and extrahepatic metastasis. Aggressive surgery for liver metastases is important to improve survival. Aggressive or cytoreductive surgery for liver metastases is indicated to reduce hormone levels and improve symptoms and prognosis. Liver transplantation was originally conceived as an ideal therapy for unresectable liver metastases. Unfortunately, there is no clear consensus on the role and timing of surgery for primary tumor and liver metastases. Surgeons still face questions in deciding the best surgical scenario in patients with P-NET with unresectable liver metastases.
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