, Volume 398, Issue 3, pp 431-440
Date: 11 Nov 2012

Resection strategies for neuroendocrine pancreatic neoplasms

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Due to their rarity and lack of prospective trials, the optimal treatment of pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (PNENs) is still debated. Recommendations gathered by retrospective analyses of patient data should be based on the new classification of neuroendocrine neoplasms.


In a retrospective single-center study (1990 to 2012), 127 patients with PNENs were included. Tumor stage and type of resections were analyzed to evaluate successful treatment strategies.


Seventy-nine patients (62 %) were diagnosed with stage I or II, 48 patients (38 %) with stage III or IV disease; 49.6 % of all PNENs were nonfunctional. Surgical interventions consisted of 50 enucleations, 27 distal resections, and 2 partial duodenopancreatectomies in patients with stage I or II disease. Twenty-eight patients with stage III or IV disease received a distal resection and in 13 patients, a partial duodenopancreatectomy was carried out. Exploration with debulking was performed in seven patients in stages III and IV. Stage-dependent 10-year survival rates were 93.7 (stages I and II, n = 79) and 56.0 % (stages III and IV, n = 48).


PNENs have a good prognosis if they are well-differentiated and resected completely. Organ-preserving resection does not impair the prognosis in selected cases with stage I or II. In case of hepatic metastasis and advanced tumor stage, surgical reduction can reduce symptoms and improve the survival.