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Patients who have neuroendocrine tumors frequently present with liver metastases. A wide panel of treatment options exists for these patients. Liver resection with curative intent achieves the best long-term results. Highly selected patients may be considered for liver transplantation. Substantial recurrence rates reported after surgical approaches call for neoadjuvant and adjuvant concepts. Liver-directed, locally ablative procedures are recommended for patients with limited, nonresectable tumor burden. Angiographic liver-directed techniques, such as transarterial embolization, transarterial chemoembolization, and selective internal radiotherapy, offer excellent palliation for patients with liver-predominant disease. Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy is a promising palliative procedure for patients with hepatic and/or extrahepatic metastases. The efficacy of these treatment options needs to be evaluated in randomized trials. Somatostatin analogues have demonstrated effectiveness not only for symptomatic relief in patients with secreting tumors but also for the control of proliferation in small intestinal neuroendocrine tumors and most recently also in those originating from the pancreas. Chemotherapy is an option mainly for those with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and high-grade tumors irrespective of the origin. Novel drugs targeting specific pathways within the tumor cell have produced improved progression-free survival compared with placebo in patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Despite such a diverse armamentarium, there is uncertainty with regard to the optimal treatment regimens. Newly introduced molecular-based markers, along with the conduction of clinical trials comparing the efficacy of treatment modalities, offer a chance to move the treatment of neuroendocrine tumor disease toward personalized patient care. In this report, the authors review the approaches for treatment of neuroendocrine liver metastases, identify shortcomings, and anticipate future perspectives. Furthermore, clinical practice recommendations are provided for currently available treatment options. Although multiple modalities are available for the treatment of neuroendocrine liver metastases, optimal management is unclear. The current knowledge pertaining to these treatment options is analyzed.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1172 - 1186