Liver transplantation and multivisceral transplantation in the management of patients with advanced neuroendocrine tumours
Clift AK., Frilling A.
Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) represents a generally accepted albeit somewhat controversially discussed therapeutic strategy in highly selected patients with non-resectable hepatic metastases from neuroendocrine tumours (NET). Whilst there are some exclusion criteria, these are not universally followed, and the optimal set of inclusion parameters for deeming patients eligible has not yet been elucidated. This is due to heterogeneity in the study populations, as well differing approaches employed and also divergences in selection criteria between centres. Recent data have suggested that OLT may represent the most efficacious approach in terms of overall and disease-free survival to the management of NET metastatic to the liver when conducted in accordance with the modified Milan criteria. Therefore, a consensus set of selection criteria requires definition to facilitate stringent and fair allocation of deceased-donor organs, as well as consideration for living-donor organs. In the context of classically non-resectable metastatic tumour bulk, multivisceral transplantation with or without the liver may also be indicated, yet experience is very limited. In this review, we discuss the diagnostic work-up of patients in whom the aforementioned transplantation approaches are being considered, critically analyse the published experience and also anticipate future developments in this field, including a discussion of immediate and longer-term research priorities.