Orthotopic liver transplantation in the treatment of metastatic neuroendocrine tumors of the liver

Liver Transpl Surg. 1995 Mar;1(2):118-21. doi: 10.1002/lt.500010209.


The place of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in the management of metastatic hepatic neuroendocrine tumors has not been adequately defined. The present report is concerned with patient survival, disease recurrence, and symptom relief in 11 such patients in a single center who, at the time of transplantation, had no extrahepatic tumor. All patients obtained complete symptom relief initially but tumor recurrence was observed in 6 of the 11 cases (5 carcinoid and 1 apudoma) at a median of 11 months (range 3.5-26). Five patients have died, 4 in the carcinoid group with recurrence and one from chronic rejection in the other apudoma group. Of the 6 patients currently alive one of 2 carcinoids and one of 4 other apudomas have tumor recurrence. Recurrent deposits were found predominantly in bone and in the transplanted liver. Actuarial survival post transplant was 82% and 57% at 1 and 5 years respectively. It is concluded that OLT is effective at controlling symptoms from secreting carcinoid deposits in the liver. Although the tumor will recur in most cases, this is not necessarily associated with early return of symptoms. Prolonged disease free survival is more likely in the non carcinoid apudoma group.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apudoma / mortality
  • Apudoma / secondary
  • Apudoma / surgery*
  • Carcinoid Tumor / mortality
  • Carcinoid Tumor / secondary
  • Carcinoid Tumor / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Rejection / mortality
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / mortality
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Liver Transplantation* / methods
  • Liver Transplantation* / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors