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Ann Oncol. 2005 Nov;16(11):1806-10. Epub 2005 Aug 5.

Endocrine pancreatic tumors: factors correlated with survival.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Medicina Interna e Gastroenterologia, Universit√† di Bologna, Italy.



The aim of this study was to evaluate the survival rate of patients with endocrine tumors of the pancreas, functioning or non-functioning, associated or not with MEN 1 syndrome.


Eighty-three patients with pancreatic endocrine tumors diagnosed in our department from 1978 to 2003 were studied.


The study included 37 men (44.6%) and 46 women (55.4%). The median age of patients at diagnosis was 55 years (range 19-81 years). Fifty-two patients (62.7%) had non-functioning endocrine tumors, 16 (19.3%) had functioning endocrine tumors and 15 (18.1%) had MEN 1 disease with pancreatic involvement. Twenty-seven patients (32.5%) had liver metastases at the time of diagnosis, involvement of the lymph nodes was found in 47 out of 79 patients (59.5%). Forty patients (48.2%) had radical surgery, 20 (24.1%) had palliative surgery and 53 were treated medically. The survival rate was significantly related to the presence of metastases, lymph node involvement, and the type of tumor and treatment.


Tumor resection, the absence of liver and lymph node metastases, and the presence of MEN 1 syndrome are related to a better survival rate. Radical surgery continues to have a central role in the therapeutic approach to endocrine tumors of the pancreas.

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