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Ann Surg Oncol. 2012 Dec;19(13):4270-7. doi: 10.1245/s10434-012-2462-8. Epub 2012 Jul 3.

Synchronous resection of primary and liver metastases for neuroendocrine tumors.

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Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA.



Surgical approach is an accepted approach for metastatic neuroendocrine tumors (NET), but the safety and effectiveness of synchronous liver metastases resection with primary and/or locally recurrent NET is unclear.


From 1992 to 2009, a total of 36 patients underwent synchronous resection of primary NET or local recurrence and liver metastases. Patients and tumor characteristics, surgical procedures, and postoperative and long-term outcome were reviewed.


Primary lesions were solitary in 28 patients (80 %), with a median size of 25 mm. Liver metastases were multiple in 32 cases (89 %), with a bilobar distribution in 29 patients (81 %) and a median size of 62 mm. Resections included gastroduodenal (n = 5), ileocolonic (n = 18), pancreatic resection (n = 13), and major hepatectomy (n = 15). Resections were R0, R1, and R2 in 13, 11, and 12 cases, respectively, and tumors were classified as G1 in 20 (56 %) and G2 in 15 (42 %). There was 1 postoperative death after a Whipple/right trisectionectomy, and postoperative complication occurred in 16 patients (44 %). With a median follow-up of 56 months, 31 patients (89 %) experienced recurrence, which was confined to the liver in 90 %. Reduction of disease to liver only allowed subsequent liver-directed therapy, such as arterial embolization or percutaneous ablation, in 25 patients (71 %). Five-year symptom-free survival and overall survival were 60 %, and 69 %, respectively.


In highly selected patients, an initial surgical approach combining simultaneous resection of liver metastases and primary/recurrent tumors can be performed with low mortality. Most patients develop liver-confined recurrence, which is usually amenable to ablative therapies that offer ongoing disease and symptom control.

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