Liver Transplantation for Neuroendocrine Tumors: What Have We Learned?

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Abstract

Neuroendocrine tumors are slow-growing tumors and associated with prolonged overall survival even in the presence of untreated liver metastases. The presence of liver metastases may be responsible for severe symptoms with impairment of quality of life. Liver resection has been proposed to achieve better symptom control and/or improve overall survival, but this concerns less than 20% of patients with liver metastases. In addition, the chance to be really cured after liver resection is around 40%, which prompts consideration of liver transplantation as the only potential curative treatment. Time has come to move beyond the traditional debate around the best candidates and prognostic factors for liver transplantation. This review gives the opportunity to discuss new insights: (1) outcome of liver transplantation for neuroendocrine liver metastases as compared with hepatocellular carcinoma, (2) outcome of salvage liver transplantation as a secondary procedure after surgical resection of neuroendocrine liver metastases, (3) outcome of palliative liver transplantation for neuroendocrine liver metastases, and (4) the chance to be cured after liver transplantation for neuroendocrine liver metastases.

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