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Results of Liver Transplantation for Gastroenteropancreatic Tumor Metastases

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Abstract. During the early 1980s liver transplantation (LTx) was expected to be a promising therapeutic option for patients with primary or secondary tumors confined to the liver. Because of disappointing results owing to death from early recurrence, LTx is currently restricted to well selected patients with small primary tumors and, in the case of liver metastases, to those with metastases of gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) tumor origin only. In our series of 300 liver transplantations four patients with GEP tumor metastases underwent LTx. The primary tumors were one neuroendocrine kidney tumor, one glucagonoma of the pancreas, and two cases of carcinoids of the pancreas. Because of local metastatic lymph node involvement upper gastrointestinal exenteration followed by LTx was performed in two patients. No patient survived beyond 33 months after LTx. Three patients died from tumor recurrence. In one patient who died from fungal sepsis autopsy revealed spine metastases that had been missed before LTx. Our dismal results do not compare well with promising data published previously by others for this particular patient group. Under the pressure of an increasing donor organ shortage, patients with GEP tumor metastases should be selected carefully for LTx.

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Anthuber, M., Jauch, KW., Briegel, J. et al. Results of Liver Transplantation for Gastroenteropancreatic Tumor Metastases. World J. Surg. 20, 73–76 (1996).

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