Validation of the 8th AJCC Cancer Staging System for Pancreas Neuroendocrine Tumors Using Korean Nationwide Surgery Database

Cancer Res Treat. 2019 Oct;51(4):1639-1652. doi: 10.4143/crt.2019.023. Epub 2019 Apr 19.


Purpose: The 8th edition of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor (PNET) included several significant changes. We aim to evaluate this staging system compared to the 7th edition AJCC staging system and European Neuroendocrine Tumors Society (ENETS) system.

Materials and methods: We used Korean nationwide surgery database (2000-2014). Of 972 patients who had undergone surgery for PNET, excluding patients diagnosed with ENETS/World Health Organization 2010 grade 3 (G3), only 472 patients with accurate stage were included.

Results: Poor discrimination in overall survival rate (OSR) was noted between AJCC 8th stage III and IV (p=0.180). The disease-free survival (DFS) curves of 8th AJCC classification were well separated between all stages. Compared with stage I, the hazard ratio of II, III, and IV was 3.808, 13.928, and 30.618, respectively (p=0.007, p < 0.001, and p < 0.001). The curves of OSR and DFS of certain prognostic group in AJCC 7th and ENETS overlapped. In ENETS staging system, no significant difference in DFS between stage IIB versus IIIA (p=0.909) and IIIA versus IIIB (p=0.291). In multivariable analysis, lymphovascular invasion (p=0.002), perineural invasion (p=0.003), and grade (p < 0.001) were identified as independent prognostic factors for DFS.

Conclusion: This is the first large-scale validation of the AJCC 8th edition staging system for PNET. The revised 8th system provides better discrimination compared to that of the 7th edition and ENETS TNM system. This supports the clinical use of the system.

Keywords: Neoplasm staging; Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor; Validation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / pathology*
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors / surgery*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Republic of Korea
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult