Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 25, Issue 13, pp 3928–3935 | Cite as

Hepatic Resection for Non-functional Neuroendocrine Liver Metastasis: Does the Presence of Unresected Primary Tumor or Extrahepatic Metastatic Disease Matter?

  • Jun-Xi Xiang
  • Xu-Feng Zhang
  • Eliza W. Beal
  • Matthew Weiss
  • Luca Aldrighetti
  • George A. Poultsides
  • Todd W. Bauer
  • Ryan C. Fields
  • Shishir Kumar Maithel
  • Hugo P. Marques
  • Timothy M. PawlikEmail author
Gastrointestinal Oncology



The objective of this study was to assess the impact of unresected primary tumor, as well as extrahepatic metastasis, on the long-term prognosis of patients undergoing hepatic resection for non-functional neuroendocrine liver metastasis (NF-NELM).


Patients who underwent hepatic resection for NF-NELM were identified from a multi-institutional database. Data on clinical and pathological details, as well as the long-term overall survival (OS) were obtained and compared. Propensity score matching was performed to generate matched pairs of patients.


Among the 332 patients with NF-NELM, 281 (84.6%) underwent primary tumor resection, while 51 (15.4%) did not. Patients who underwent primary resection were more likely to have a pancreatic primary and metachronous NELM. The long-term OS of patients who did and did not have the primary neuroendocrine tumor (NET) resected was comparable on both unmatched (10-year survival rate 66.8% vs. 54.0%, p = 0.192) and matched (10-year survival rate 75.7% vs. 60.4%, p = 0.271) analyses. In contrast, patients with NF-NELM and extrahepatic metastasis had a worse OS following resection compared with patients who had intrahepatic-only metastasis on unmatched (10-year survival rate 37.5% vs. 69.3%, p = 0.002) and matched (10-year survival rate 37.5% vs. 86.3%, p = 0.011) analyses. On multivariable analysis, while resection of the primary NET was not associated with OS (hazard ratio [HR] 0.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.4–1.2, p = 0.195), the presence of extrahepatic metastasis was independently associated with long-term risk of death (HR 3.9, 95% CI 1.7–9.2, p = 0.002).


While surgery should be considered for patients with NF-NELM who have an unresectable primary tumor, operative resection of NF-NELM may not be as beneficial in patients with extrahepatic disease.



Jun-Xi Xiang and Xu-Feng Zhang were supported by the Clinical Research Award of the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University of China (No. XJTU1AF-CRF-2017-004).

Author Contributions

Study design: J.X. Xiang, X.F. Zhang, T.M. Pawlik. Data collection and interpretation: E.W. Beal, L. Aldrighetti, G.A. Poultsides, T.W. Bauer, R.C. Fields, S.K. Maithel, H.P. Marques, M. Weiss. Data analysis: J.X. Xiang, X.F. Zhang. Drafting of the manuscript: X.J. Xiang, X.F. Zhang. Revision of the draft version of the manuscript: X.F. Zhang, T.M. Pawlik.

Conflicts of interest

None declared.

Supplementary material

10434_2018_6751_MOESM1_ESM.tif (3 mb)
Overall survival of non-functional neuroendocrine liver metastasis patients who underwent hepatic resection in different eras (TIFF 3050 kb)
10434_2018_6751_MOESM2_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 21 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun-Xi Xiang
    • 1
  • Xu-Feng Zhang
    • 1
  • Eliza W. Beal
    • 2
  • Matthew Weiss
    • 3
  • Luca Aldrighetti
    • 4
  • George A. Poultsides
    • 5
  • Todd W. Bauer
    • 6
  • Ryan C. Fields
    • 7
  • Shishir Kumar Maithel
    • 8
  • Hugo P. Marques
    • 9
  • Timothy M. Pawlik
    • 2
    • 10
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Institute of Advanced Surgical Technology and EngineeringThe First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryThe Ohio State University Wexner Medical CenterColumbusUSA
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryJohns Hopkins HospitalBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Department of Surgery, Scientific Institute San RaffaeleVita-Salute San Raffaele UniversityMilanItaly
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  6. 6.Department of SurgeryUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  7. 7.Department of SurgeryWashington University, School of MedicineSt LouisUSA
  8. 8.Department of SurgeryEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  9. 9.Department of SurgeryCurry Cabral HospitalLisbonPortugal
  10. 10.Department of SurgeryThe Shelly and Urban Meyer Professor of Cancer Research, The Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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