Nationwide registry for patients with neuroendocrine neoplasm of pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, bronchi, or thymus in Japan

Int J Clin Oncol. 2022 May;27(5):840-849. doi: 10.1007/s10147-022-02130-y. Epub 2022 Feb 18.


Background: Neuroendocrine neoplasm (NEN) is a comparatively rare tumor that has been considered indolent. Due to these characteristics, detailed epidemiological data have not been analyzed in Japan. To elucidate the present status of NEN diagnosis and treatment in Japan, we started a registry cohort study in January 2015.

Methods: Patients pathologically diagnosed with NENs of the pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, lungs, bronchi, or thymus after January 2012 were enrolled in this registry after the date of ethics review committee approval in each hospital or institute. Follow-up was continued for enrolled patients.

Results: During 5 years of enrollment between January 2015 and December 2019, a total of 1526 participants from 63 departments were enrolled in this registry (mean, 305.2 participants/year), covering approximately 5.8% of the annual incidence of NENs in Japan. For pancreatic NEN, 41.9% of patients had metastasis and the dominant metastatic site was the liver, at twice the rate of lymph node metastasis in the current registry. In contrast, the frequency of lymph node metastasis from gastrointestinal (GI)-NEN was similar to that of the liver. The distribution of WHO 2019-based grades varied according to the primary site. Low-to-intermediate grade (G1-G2) was dominant for duodenal, jejunal/ileal, rectal, and pancreatic NENs, whereas high grade (G3 or NEC) was dominant for esophageal, stomach, and colon NENs. For PanNENs, G3 and NEC accounted only for 1.6% and 2.9%, respectively.

Conclusions: These cohort data provide crucial information for clinical research to clarify the characteristics of NENs in Japan.

Keywords: Gastrointestinal tract; Lung; Neuroendocrine neoplasm; Pancreas; Prospective cohort study; Thymus.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchi / pathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors* / epidemiology
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors* / pathology
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies