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An array of treatment modalities is currently available in the management of patients with neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). Complete resection of the primary tumor and all metastatic lesions represents the only approach possessing intent to cure. However, due to patients' disease frequently being at an advanced stage on initial diagnosis only a minority of individuals are candidates for radical procedures. Cytoreductive surgery (debulking) may potentially confer improvements in quality of life and prolong overall survival. In light of the recent introduction of effective nonsurgical treatment options, the indication for cytoreductive surgery needs to be carefully assessed. The presence of nonresectable liver metastases is not a contraindication for resection of the primary tumor including locoregional disease in small bowel NETs. Resection of primary pancreatic NETs in the setting of unresectable metastatic liver disease may have a beneficial effect on the prognosis of selected patients with a tumor requiring less aggressive local surgery. Liver transplantation presents a generally accepted approach in meticulously selected patients with unresectable liver metastases. Stringent and validated selection criteria are not available. While overall survival is satisfactory, high recurrence rates hinder outcomes and call for the development and implementation of neoadjuvant and adjuvant concepts. Advances in intestinal transplantation over time may justify consideration of an individual with advanced neuroendocrine tumor disease unresponsive to standard medical or surgical treatment.

Original publication




Journal article


Frontiers of hormone research

Publication Date





164 - 176