Surgery for Hepatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: A Single Institutional Experience in Japan

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Surgical resection has been advocated as an effective treatment for hepatic neuroendocrine tumors (HNETs) in Western countries, but few data are available to define its indications. We evaluated the results of Japanese patients to determine the prognostic factors and the feasibility of our aggressive surgical approach.


The records of all consecutive patients who underwent surgical resection for HNETs at our institution were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were selected for surgery if all tumors were deemed resectable, regardless of their extent.


A total of 21 patients were identified. Bilobar disease was present in 13 patients (62%). Eleven patients (52%) underwent major hepatectomy, which included right trisectionectomy, extended right or left hepatectomy and right hepatectomy. No in-hospital death occurred. The overall 1-, 3- and 5-year survival rates were 95, 68 and 41%, respectively, with a median follow-up of 34 months. Metastatic HNETs from bronchopulmonary primaries exhibited significantly poor outcome compared with other primary sites (P=0.04). Patients who underwent curative resection had an improved overall 5-year survival rate of 73% compared with palliative resection (0%, P=0.01). The longest survival in the latter group was 57 months. Complete symptom resolution rate was 92%.


This is the first study from Asia demonstrating the safety of aggressive hepatic resection for HNETs. Significant symptom relief and long-term survival were achieved irrespective of the extent of disease or the magnitude of operation. Metastatic HNETs from bronchopulmonary primaries may represent a more lethal subset of tumors.

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