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01.12.2019 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

World Journal of Surgical Oncology 1/2019

Surgical resection of the primary tumor leads to prolonged survival in metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine carcinoma

World Journal of Surgical Oncology > Ausgabe 1/2019
Tingting Feng, Wangxia Lv, Meiqin Yuan, Zhong Shi, Haijun Zhong, Sunbin Ling
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12957-019-1597-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Palliative resection of the primary tumor for metastatic pancreatic neuroendocrine carcinoma (pNEC) patients is not recommended because of the poor prognosis compared to that of patients with well-differentiated, lower grade tumors. However, the published data supporting this recommendation regarding pNEC are limited. In the present study, we assessed whether palliative primary tumor resection in stage IV pNEC patients affects survival and identified other factors that affect survival in these patients.


We collected data from stage IV pNEC patients registered in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database between 1988 and 2014. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analysis were used to compare overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) of patients who did or did not undergo primary tumor resection.


We identified 350 patients with metastatic, poorly differentiated, and undifferentiated pNEC. A total of 14.3% (50/350) of patients underwent primary tumor resection. Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that primary tumor resection provided a significant benefit for both OS and CSS in stage IV pNEC patients. Additionally, chemotherapy and the presence of the primary tumor in the pancreatic tail were independent positive prognostic factors for metastatic pNEC patients in the multivariate Cox regression analysis.


The present study suggests that chemotherapy, location of the primary tumor in the pancreatic tail, and, most importantly, surgical removal of the primary tumor are associated with prolonged survival in stage IV pNEC patients.
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