Small bowel cancer: single-centre results over a period of 12 years

Hepatogastroenterology. 2007 Jan-Feb;54(73):129-34.


Background/aims: Tumors of the small bowel are rare, accounting for about 3-6% of all gastrointestinal neoplasms. However, diagnosis and treatment are difficult and an ongoing challenge.

Methodology: Follow-up and clinical data of 43 patients with small bowel cancer who underwent surgery at our hospital.

Results: Subgroups consisted of adenocarcinoma (n=16; 37.2%), neuroendocrine tumors (n=12; 27.9%), gastrointestinal stroma tumor (GIST) (n=10; 23.3%), lymphoma (n=3; 7%) and desmoid tumor (n=2; 4.6%). Tumor localizations were within duodenum (46.5%), jejunum (16.3%) and ileum (37.2%). Thirty patients were curatively operated, 13 for palliative treatment or diagnostic purpose. Adenocarcinoma patients showed preponderance of advanced tumor stages: stage I/II in 5 pts, III/IV in 11 patients. Stage distribution for patients with neuroendocrine tumors was 3 each for I and II and 6 for III. Localization was predominantly within the ileum (n=7). Overall survival after five/ten years was 48/37%. Patients with neuroendocrine tumors showed best survival results (75/57%), GIST patients 60/35% and adenocarcinoma (27% each). There was a strong trend towards better survival at early tumor stages in patients with adenocarcinoma and neuroendocrine tumors.

Conclusions: Early diagnosis is essential for prognosis of small bowel malignancies. Cure is unlikely if lymph node or distant metastases have already developed.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis
  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoid Tumor / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / epidemiology
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors / epidemiology
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Ileal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ileal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Intestinal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Jejunal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging