Background: Non-functioning pancreatic endocrine tumours (NF-PETs) are an aggressive gastroenteropancreatic neoplasm. The present study assessed survival, value of World Health Organisation (WHO) classification and prognostic utility of clinicopathological parameters at diagnosis.
Patients and methods: From 1990 to 2004, 180 patients with NF-PETs were entered in a prospective database, and predictors of prognosis were tested in uni- and multivariate models.
Results: There were 25 (14%) benign lesions, 38 (21%) neoplasms of uncertain behaviour, 100 well-differentiated carcinomas (56%) and 17 poorly differentiated carcinomas (9%). Radical resection was possible in 93 cases (51.6%). Overall 5-, 10- and 15-year survival rates were 67%, 49.3% and 32.8%, respectively, and were significantly higher in radically resected patients (93%, 80.8% and 65.2%, respectively; P < 0.00001). By multivariate analysis, poor differentiation [hazard ratio (HR) 7.3; P = 0.0001], nodal metastases (HR 3.05; P = 0.02), liver metastases (HR 3.29; P = 0.003), K(i)-67 >5% (HR 2.5; P = 0.012) and weight loss (HR 3.06; P = 0.001) were significantly associated with mortality.
Conclusion: This study confirms the good long-term survival of patients with NF-PETs and the prognostic value of WHO classification, liver metastases, poor differentiation, Ki-67, nodal metastases and weight loss. These latter two parameters have a prognostic value similar to that of liver metastases and Ki-67.