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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2014 Mar;45(3):521-6; discussion 526. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezt442. Epub 2013 Oct 3.

Prognostic factors in neuroendocrine tumours of the lung: a single-centre experience.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.



To assess the independent prognostic role of histological subtypes, tumour size and lymph nodal involvement upon survival in lung neuroendocrine tumours (NETs).


A retrospective search of the database of the Department of Thoracic Surgery (Turin, Italy) identified 157 patients operated on for a newly diagnosed NET between January 1995 and December 2011. Multivariable Cox models were used to analyse predictors of overall survival and progression-free survival.


According to histology, 71 (45.2%) were typical carcinoids (TCs), 35 (22.3%) atypical carcinoids (ACs), 37 (23.6%) large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas (LCNCs) and 14 (8.9%) small-cell lung carcinomas (SCLCs). After a median follow-up time of 6.5 years, 60 patients died and 73 had a recurrence or died. The overall 5-, 10- and 15-year survival rates were 64%, 53% and 46%, respectively. Older age, histology (ACs, LCNCs and SCLCs vs TCs) and lymph nodal involvement were confirmed to be independent negative prognostic factors in the multivariable models for overall survival and progression-free survival.


Tumour histology and lymph nodal involvement are definitively the predominant and relevant factors influencing survival. ACs showed an intermediate prognosis between TCs and poorly differentiated NETs.


Carcinoid; Large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma; Lung cancer; Metastases; Neuroendocrine tumours; Small-cell lung cancer; Surgery

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