Background: Recently, there has been a move toward decreasing the threshold for liver debulking for metastatic carcinoid tumors from 90% to 70%. The debulking threshold and factors that predict outcomes of liver debulking operations specifically among pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors are not well defined. Methods: Records of patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors undergoing liver debulking with a threshold of 70% from 2006 to 2016 were reviewed. Extrahepatic metastases and positive margins by enucleation were allowed. Liver progression-free survival and overall survival were calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method for various factors and compared by log-rank. Factors also were correlated with liver progression-free survival and overall survival by multivariate regression analyses. Results: Forty-two patients underwent 44 operations, of which 24 resulted in 100% debulking, 12 resulted in ≥90% debulking, and 8 resulted in ≥70% debulking. Median liver progression-free survival was 11 months. The 5-year overall survival rate was 81%. There were no significant differences in outcome based on percent debulked. Only liver metastasis ≥5 cm correlated with liver progression-free survival and overall survival. Conclusion: Consideration should be given to expanding the criteria for liver debulking in pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors to include a new threshold of >70% debulking, intermediate grade tumors, positive margins, and extrahepatic metastases; these criteria yield results indistinguishable from complete resection. Using these expanded criteria will increase the number of patients eligible for an operation and maintain high survival rates.
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