Objectives: Vasoactive intestinal peptide-secreting tumors (VIPomas) are rare functioning neuroendocrine tumors often characterized by a difficult-to-control secretory syndrome and high potential to develop metastases. We hereby present the characteristics of 15 cases of VIPomas and provide a recent literature review.
Methods: This was a retrospective data analysis of 15 patients with VIPoma from 3 different centers and literature research through PubMed database during the last 10 years.
Results: Fifteen patients with VIPomas (9 with hepatic metastases at diagnosis) with watery diarrhea and raised VIP levels were studied. Ten patients (67%) had grade 2 tumors, 6 of 15 had localized disease and underwent potentially curative surgery, whereas the remaining 9 received multiple systemic therapies; 3 patients died during follow-up. The median overall survival was 71 months (range, 41-154 months). Patients who were treated with curative surgery (n = 7) had longer median overall survival compared with patients who were treated with other therapeutic modalities (44 vs 33 months).
Conclusions: The management of VIPomas is challenging requiring the application of multiple treatment modalities. Patients who underwent surgical treatment with curative intent appear to have higher survival rate. Central registration and larger prospective studies are required to evaluate the effect of currently employed therapies in these patients.