BACKGROUND: Although prognosis of NENs is affected by several features including tumour burden, the specific role of this factor in pancreatic NENs (PanNENs) and gastrointestinal NENs (GI NENs) is not well established.
AIM: To compare the prognostic role of tumour burden in PanNENs and GI NENs.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This study was a retrospective analysis of stage IV PanNENs and GI NENs. Tumours were classified based on liver tumour volume (<25% or >25%). Overall survival as assessed by Kaplan-Meier curves, and Cox proportional hazards method was used to perform risk factor analysis.
RESULTS: The analysis included 300 patients, including 166 panNENs (55.3%) and 134 GI NENs (44.7%). A total of 158 patients (52.7%) had G2 tumours, 107 had G1 tumours (35.7%), and 35 had G3 tumours (11.6%). Tumour liver involvement >25% was observed in 187 patients (62.3%): 106 PanNENs (56.7%), and 81 GI NENs (43.3%) (p = 0.551). Bone metastases were present in 45 patients (15%): 22 PanNENs (13.2%) and 23 GI NENs (17.1%) (p = 0.416). Characteristics of the PanNENs, including: grading (G2 vs G1, HR = 3.7; G3 vs G1, HR = 16.40), liver involvement > 25% (HR = 3.09), and bone metastases (HR = 2.27) were independent predictors for poor survival, whereas the only significant risk factor in GI NENs was grading (G2 vs G1, HR = 4.36; G3 vs G1, HR = 8.60).
CONCLUSIONS: PanNENs and GI NENs have different risk profiles. Liver tumour volume and the presence of bone metastases significantly affect survival in patients with PanNENs but has no impact on the clinical outcomes of GI NENs.