Management of gastric and duodenal neuroendocrine tumors

World J Gastroenterol. 2016 Aug 14;22(30):6817-28. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i30.6817.


Gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors (GI-NETs) are rare neoplasms, like all NETs. However, the incidence of GI-NETS has been increasing in recent years. Gastric NETs (G-NETs) and duodenal NETs (D-NETs) are the common types of upper GI-NETs based on tumor location. G-NETs are classified into three distinct subgroups: type I, II, and III. Type I G-NETs, which are the most common subtype (70%-80% of all G-NETs), are associated with chronic atrophic gastritis, including autoimmune gastritis and Helicobacter pylori associated atrophic gastritis. Type II G-NETs (5%-6%) are associated with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (MEN1-ZES). Both type I and II G-NETs are related to hypergastrinemia, are small in size, occur in multiple numbers, and are generally benign. In contrast, type III G-NETs (10%-15%) are not associated with hypergastrinemia, are large-sized single tumors, and are usually malignant. Therefore, surgical resection and chemotherapy are generally necessary for type III G-NETs, while endoscopic resection and follow-up, which are acceptable for the treatment of most type I and II G-NETs, are only acceptable for small and well differentiated type III G-NETs. D-NETs include gastrinomas (50%-60%), somatostatin-producing tumors (15%), nonfunctional serotonin-containing tumors (20%), poorly differentiated neuroendocrine carcinomas (< 3%), and gangliocytic paragangliomas (< 2%). Most D-NETs are located in the first or second part of the duodenum, with 20% occurring in the periampullary region. Therapy for D-NETs is based on tumor size, location, histological grade, stage, and tumor type. While endoscopic resection may be considered for small nonfunctional D-NETs (G1) located in the higher papilla region, surgical resection is necessary for most other D-NETs. However, there is no consensus regarding the ideal treatment of D-NETs.

Keywords: Classification; Duodenal neuroendocrine tumors; Endoscopic submucosal dissection; Endoscopic treatment; Gastric neuroendocrine tumors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Duodenal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Duodenal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Humans
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / diagnosis
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / pathology
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / therapy*
  • Stomach Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / therapy*