Results of Surgical Resection of Locally Advanced Pulmonary Neuroendocrine Tumors

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Background: Pulmonary neuroendocrine tumors include well-differentiated and poorly differentiated histology for which cell type has proved to be a determinant of survival in many studies. In patients diagnosed with bronchial carcinoid and large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNEC), surgery is the treatment of choice even in the case of locally advanced disease with lymph node involvement. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed patients undergoing anatomic lung resection for bronchial carcinoid or LCNEC with lymph node involvement (N1/N2) at the final pathologic examination (pN+). Characteristics of patients and differences in overall survival and disease-free survival are presented according to tumor type. Overall survival of distinct histologic groups was compared with survival in our institutional experience in stage I patients, without nodal involvement (pN0). Results: In all, 325 patients underwent surgical resection for neuroendocrine tumors; 89 patients had nodal involvement. Five-year survival was 89% in pN+ bronchial carcinoid both for typical carcinoid and atypical carcinoid but worse for pN+ LCNEC (47%). Cell type did not influence the prognosis in N0 disease, and no differences in survival were evident between N0 and N+ in the bronchial carcinoid group. In the group of LCNEC, 5-year overall survival was much worse for pN+ LCNEC (47%) compared with pN0 LCNEC (91%). Conclusions: Bronchial carcinoids have the best prognosis, and surgery remains the treatment of choice for both early and locally advanced disease. On the contrary, aggressive forms (LCNEC) with lymph nodal metastasis have a poor prognosis, and they need to be treated with an aggressive multidisciplinary approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-414
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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