A rational approach to the use of hepatic transplantation in the treatment of metastatic neuroendocrine tumors

S. I. Curtiss, E. Mor*, M. E. Schwartz, M. W. Sung, P. Hytiroglou, S. N. Thung, P. A. Sheiner, S. Emre, C. M. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors are slow growing, and metastases are often limited to the liver. Whereas in asymptomatic patients, observation alone may be reasonable, in patients with neuroendocrine tumors and unresectable hepatic metastases, transplantation of the liver may be beneficial. We have developed a protocol in which patients with multiple hepatic metastases are initially treated with chemotherapy and embolization to control symptoms and inhibit tumor growth. Hepatic transplantation is reserved for patients in whom tumor progresses or symptoms of hormone production or mass effect persist. STUDY DESIGN: This is a retrospective review of eight patients with neuroendocrine tumor metastases who were referred to the Mount Sinai Hospital for evaluation for hepatic transplantation. RESULTS: Of the eight patients, three have undergone transplantation; all are alive, with no evidence of tumor recurrence at 12 to 30 months. In two patients, symptoms have been controlled by embolization of the hepatic artery or chemotherapy, or both; another has had massive hepatomegaly as a result of tumor progression, with wasting and portal hypertension, and currently awaits transplantation. Two patients died as a result of progressive disease, soon after referral. CONCLUSION: Transplantation of the liver may be an important treatment modality for a selected group of patients with neuroendocrine tumors unresponsive to conventional therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-187
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


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