Prognostic Factors for Locoregional Recurrence in Neuroendocrine Tumors of the Rectum

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Optimal management of rectal neuroendocrine tumors is not yet well defined. Various pathologic factors, particularly tumor size, have been proposed as prognostic markers.


We characterized sequential patients diagnosed with rectal neuroendocrine tumors in a population-based setting to determine whether tumor size and other pathologic markers could be useful in guiding locoregional management.


This study is a retrospective analysis of data from the British Columbia provincial cancer registry.


The study was conducted at a tertiary care center.


Sequential patients diagnosed with rectal neuroendocrine tumors between 1999 and 2011 were identified. Neuroendocrine tumors were classified as G1 and G2 tumors with a Ki-67 ≤20% and/or mitotic count ≤20 per high-power field.


Baseline clinicopathologic data including TNM staging, depth of invasion, tumor size, treatment modalities, and outcomes including survival data were measured.


Of 91 rectal neuroendocrine tumors, the median patient age was 58 years, and 35 were men. Median tumor size was 6 mm. Median length of follow-up was 58.1 months, with 3 patients presenting with stage IV disease. Treatment included local ablation (n = 5), local excision (n = 79), surgical resection (n = 4), and pelvic radiation (n = 1; T3N1 tumor). Final margin status was positive in 17 cases. Local relapse occurred in 8 cases and 1 relapse to bone 13 months after T3N1 tumor resection. Univariate analysis demonstrated an association between local relapse and Ki-67, mitotic count, grade, and lymphovascular invasion (p < 0.01). Larger tumor size was associated with decreased disease-free survival.


Sample size was 91 patients in the whole provincial population over a 13-year time period because of the low incidence of rectal neuroendocrine tumors.


In this population-based cohort, rectal neuroendocrine tumors generally presented with small, early tumors and were treated with local excision or surgical resection without pelvic radiation. Pathologic markers play a role in risk stratification and prognostication. See Video Abstract at

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