Liver transplantation for neuroendocrine tumors
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Liver transplantation for the treatment of metastatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) is radical. Although cure is not impossible, it is improbable. The reported experience with transplantation for NETs is limited to less than 150 cases with widely varying results and few 5-year disease-free survivors. We reviewed our experience with transplantation for patients with NETs. Fourteen symptomatic patients with unresectable NET liver metastases who had failed medical management were listed for transplantation. Two patients listed for transplantation underwent prior right lobectomies. Three patients were listed but did not undergo transplantation: one was lost to follow-up, one died 14 months after listing, and one remains waiting over 4 years. Eleven patients underwent liver transplantation, three with living donor grafts. There were four men (36.4%) and seven women (63.6%) who had a mean age of 51.2 ± 6.3 years. Three patients had distal pancreatectomies and one patient had a Whipple procedure at the time of transplantation. There were six nonfunctioning tumors (54.6%), three carcinoid tumors (27.3%), and two (18.2%) Vipomas. In one patient, with fulminant hepatic failure, the NET was an incidental finding in the explant. The 1- and 5-year survival among transplanted patients is 73% and 36%, respectively, with a mean follow-up of 34 ± 40 months (range 0 to 119 months). Of the three patients surviving more than 5 years, only one was disease free. In carefully selected patients with metastatic NETs, liver transplantation may be an appropriate option.
KeywordsLiver transplantation neuroendocrine cancer
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