Gastro-entero-pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasia: The rules for non-operative management

Francesco Panzuto, Sara Massironi, Stefano Partelli, Davide Campana, Maria Rinzivillo, Pietro Invernizzi, Valentina Andreasi, Giuseppe Lamberti, Massimo Falconi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (GEP-NENs) with favorable pathological and clinical features may be considered as indolent lesions, and therefore be amenable to conservative management. According to the primary tumor site, different non-aggressive approaches, based on endoscopic resection or simple active surveillance, can be proposed to selected patients fulfilling specific criteria. Tumor size, Ki67 proliferative index and depth of invasion are markers that can be used in order to identify these subjects. Patients with type I gastric NENs <1 cm as well as those with non-ampullary duodenal NENs <1 cm with no associated syndrome can be safely managed by endoscopic resection. On the other hand, an active surveillance approach is preferred over surgery for patients with asymptomatic, non-functioning pancreatic NENs ≤2 cm without dilation of the main pancreatic duct or bile duct. As far as NENs of the appendix are concerned, appendectomy should be considered as curative when a R0 resection has been achieved in the presence of a tumor ≤1.5 cm, graded as G1 and without lymphovascular invasion. Finally, G1 rectal NENs ≤1 cm without invasion of the muscular layer can be safely treated by endoscopic resection. Therefore, surgeons should be aware of the existence of indolent GEP-NENs, in order to avoid unnecessary operations with associated postoperative complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Active surveillance
  • Carcinoids
  • Endoscopic resection
  • Follow-up
  • Indolent
  • Neuroendocrine neoplasms
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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