Clinicopathological Findings and Treatment Outcomes of Patients with Primary Hepatobiliary Neuroendocrine Neoplasms: A Retrospective Single-institution Analysis

Intern Med. 2024 Apr 1;63(7):891-901. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.2016-23. Epub 2023 Aug 23.


Objective Primary hepatobiliary neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) are rare tumors exhibiting several morphological and behavioral characteristics. Considering the lack of relevant data on this topic, we evaluated the clinicopathological features and treatment outcomes of patients with primary hepatobiliary NENs. Methods/Patients We examined 43 consecutive patients treated at the National Cancer Center Hospital with pathological diagnoses of primary hepatobiliary NEN between 1980 and 2016. Results Nine patients were diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumor (NET) G1, 9 with NET G2, and 25 with neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) based on the World Health Organization 2019 classification. Patients with NEC had primary sites across the hepatobiliary organs, although sites in patients with NET G1 and NET G2 only included the liver and ampulla of Vater. Patients with primary extrahepatic bile duct or ampulla of Vater NENs tended to be diagnosed earlier than patients with primary gallbladder NENs. The median survival times in the NET G1, NET G2, and NEC groups were 167.9, 97.4, and 11.1 months, respectively. A good performance status, absence of distant metastases, and low tumor grade were identified as independent predictors of a favorable prognosis. Conclusion The NET-to-NEC ratio and tumor stage distribution at the diagnosis differed depending on the primary site. Patients with G1 and G2 NETs who underwent surgical resection had good prognoses, whereas those with NEC exhibited more advanced disease and poorer prognoses. The performance status, staging classification, and tumor grade are important factors to consider when devising an appropriate treatment strategy and predicting the prognoses of patients with primary hepatobiliary NEN.

Keywords: grade; primary hepatobiliary neuroendocrine carcinoma; primary hepatobiliary neuroendocrine tumor; prognosis; stage.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine* / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine* / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Neuroendocrine* / therapy
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms*
  • Humans
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors* / diagnosis
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors* / surgery
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome