Background Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors are very rare. The aim of this study was to assess the survival rate in patients with functioning or non-functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Methods The data for 49 patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors who were treated at a single institution from January 2004 to December 2010 were analyzed retrospectively with regard to short-term and long-term outcomes, as well as predictive factors for survival and prognosis. Overall survival was evaluated using the Kaplan–Meier method. Cox regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with the prognosis in a multivariate analysis. Results Patients’ median age at diagnosis was 59 years (range 17–83 years). Nine lesions (19%) were functioning tumors and 40 (81%) were non-functional. The 5-year survival rate was 85.5%. Among patients who underwent potentially curative resection, tumor stage (P=0.001), pathological classification (P=0.03) and presence of liver metastases (P=0.003), as well as the resection margin, were significant prognostic factors. Conclusions Surgical resection should be attempted and should play a central role in the therapeutic approach to patients with neuroendocrine tumors. The important aspect is early diagnosis, which makes it possible to carry out radical surgery before the tumor has metastasized.
Monika S Janot, Sabine Kersting, Thorsten Herzog, Ansgar M Chromik, Waldemar Uhl