Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: the impact of surgical resection on survival

Cancer. 2009 Feb 15;115(4):741-51. doi: 10.1002/cncr.24065.


Background: Although surgical resection is generally recommended for patients with localized pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs), the impact of resection on overall survival is unknown. The authors investigated the survival advantage of pancreatic resection using a national database.

Methods: This is a retrospective survival analysis of patients with PNETs from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (1988-2002).

Results: A total of 728 patients with PNETs were identified with a median survival of 43 months using Kaplan-Meier survival methods. Resection of tumor was associated with significantly improved survival compared with those patients who were recommended for but did not undergo resection (114 months vs 35 months; P < .0001). This survival benefit was demonstrated for patients with localized, regional, and metastatic disease. A multivariable Cox proportional hazards model was constructed to assess the overall effect of surgical resection on survival, and demonstrated an adjusted odds ratio of 0.48 (95% confidence interval, 0.35-0.66) compared with those who were recommended for surgery but did not proceed to surgery.

Conclusions: The authors have demonstrated in a large national study that resection of primary tumor in patients with PNETs is associated with improved survival across all disease stages. Patients with localized, regional, and metastatic PNETs who are reasonable operative candidates should be considered for resection of their primary tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Planning Guidelines
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / mortality*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / secondary
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / surgery*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • SEER Program
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome