Objective: To report long-term follow-up of patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) and nonfunctioning pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NF-PET).
Background: Pancreaticoduodenal tumors occur in almost all patients with MEN1 and are a major cause of death. The natural history and clinical outcome are poorly defined, and management is still controversial for small NF-PET.
Methods: Clinical outcome and tumor progression were analyzed in 46 patients with MEN1 with 2 cm or smaller NF-PET who did not have surgery at the time of initial diagnosis. Survival data were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method.
Results: Forty-six patients with MEN1 were followed prospectively for 10.7 ± 4.2 (mean ± standard deviation) years. One patient was lost to follow-up and 1 died from a cause unrelated to MEN1. Twenty-eight patients had stable disease and 16 showed significant progression of pancreaticoduodenal involvement, indicated by increase in size or number of tumors, development of a hypersecretion syndrome, need for surgery (7 patients), and death from metastatic NF-PET (1 patient). The mean event-free survival was 13.9 ± 1.1 years after NF-PET diagnosis. At last follow-up, none of the living patients who had undergone surgery or follow-up had evidence of metastases on imaging studies.
Conclusions: Our study shows that conservative management for patients with MEN1 with NF-PET of 2 cm or smaller is associated with a low risk of disease-specific mortality. The decision to recommend surgery to prevent tumor spread should be balanced with operative mortality and morbidity, and patients should be informed about the risk-benefit ratio of conservative versus aggressive management when the NF-PET represents an intermediate risk.