Update in clinical management for gallbladder neuroendocrine carcinoma

Medicine (Baltimore). 2021 Apr 9;100(14):e25449. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000025449.


Background: Gallbladder neuroendocrine carcinoma (GB-NEC) is rare and there are few reports at present. We sought to review the current knowledge of GB-NEC and provide recommendations for clinical management.

Methods: A systemic literature research was conducted in the websites of Pubmed, Medline, Web of Science, CNKI, Wanfang Data using the keywords including gallbladder combined with neuroendocrine carcinoma or neuroendocrine tumor or neuroendocrine neoplasm. Two reviewers independently screened the articles by reading the title, abstract and full-text.

Results: In computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination, a well-defined margin, gallbladder replacing type with larger hepatic and lymphatic metastases could be helpful for differential diagnosis of GB-NEC and gallbladder adenocarcinoma (GB-ADC). Older age, unmarried status, large tumor size (>5 cm), positive margins, and distant Surveillance, Epidemiology and End result (SEER) stage are independently associated with poor survival. Surgical resection remains as the preferred and primary treatment. The potential survival benefit of lymphadenectomy for patients remains controversial. Platinum-based postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy may improve the survival. The efficacy of other treatments including immunotherapy, targeted therapy and somatostatin analogue needs further investigation.

Conclusion: Typical imaging features could be helpful for preoperative diagnosis. Age, margin status, tumor size, marital status, histopathologic subtype and SEER stage may be independent predictors for the survival. Remarkable advances regarding the treatment for GB-NEC have been achieved in recent years. Further studies are needed to investigate the survival benefit of lymphadenectomy for patients with GB-NEC.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine / therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / mortality
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Survival Rate