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D O'Toole, F Maire, and P Ruszniewski

Hepatic metastases are frequently encountered in patients with digestive endocrine tumors and their presence plays an important role in quality of life and overall prognosis. Surgery is the treatment method of choice for hepatic metastases but this is frequently impossible due to the extent of disease. Systemic chemotherapy is offered to patients with diffuse and/or progressive liver metastases but results are disappointing especially in patients with metastases of midgut origin. In the latter patients with carcinoid syndrome, somatostatin analogs are frequently initially effective but their efficacy wanes due to disease progression and development of tachyphylaxis. Other therapeutic options in the treatment of hepatic metastases are locoregional strategies where vascular occlusion induces ischemia in these highly vascular tumors using either surgical or radiological techniques. Available methods include surgical ligation of the hepatic artery, transient hepatic ischemia or sequential hepatic arterialization. Trans-catheter arterial chemoembolization has proven effective in terms of long palliation and objective tumor responses. Other treatments aimed at regional destruction either alone or in combination with surgery include radiofrequency ablation and cryotherapy. The latter are usually important adjuncts to surgery and are usually reserved for limited disease.

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O Hentic, A Couvelard, V Rebours, M Zappa, S Dokmak, P Hammel, F Maire, D O'Toole, P Lévy, A Sauvanet, and P Ruszniewski

The prognosis remains ill-defined in patients with liver metastases of well-differentiated (WD) digestive endocrine carcinomas (DEC) with high Ki-67 index. The objectives of this study were to determine whether Ki-67 index, tumor differentiation, and extent of liver involvement are independent prognostic factors in patients with DEC, and whether chemotherapy commonly used in patients with poorly differentiated (PD) carcinomas might be applied to those with high Ki-67 index but well-differentiated DEC. Sixty-three patients with DEC metastatic to the liver were retrospectively studied and divided into three prognostic groups. Group 1 comprised patients with well-differentiated carcinomas and Ki-67 index <15% (n=28), group 2 comprised those with well-differentiated carcinomas and Ki-67 index ≥15% (n=17), and group 3 comprised those with poorly differentiated carcinomas (n=18). Therapeutic strategy was decided in accordance to guidelines, and tumoral response rate was assessed by computed tomography scan (RECIST). Prognostic factors were determined by uni/multivariate analysis. The 5-year survival rates were 89, 36, and 6% in groups 1, 2, and 3 respectively (P<0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that Ki-67 index ≥15%, poor tumor differentiation, and large liver tumor burden were independent predictors of poorer survival. Disease control rates after etoposide–cisplatin were 50 and 53% in groups 2 and 3 respectively (NS). In conclusion, Ki-67 index, tumor differentiation, and extent of liver involvement are independent prognostic factors in patients with liver metastases of DEC. Patients with well-differentiated carcinomas with high Ki-67 index (≥15%) have intermediate prognosis and a similar response rate to the etoposide–cisplatin combination as those with poorly differentiated carcinomas.

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M Heetfeld, C N Chougnet, I H Olsen, A Rinke, I Borbath, G Crespo, J Barriuso, M Pavel, D O'Toole, T Walter, and other Knowledge Network members

Data on gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (NEN) G3 (well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NET G3) and neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC)) are limited. We retrospectively study patients with NET G3 and NEC from eight European centers. Data examined included clinical and pathological characteristics at diagnosis, therapies and outcomes. Two hundred and four patients were analyzed (37 NET G3 and 167 NEC). Median age was 64 (21–89) years. Tumor origin included pancreas (32%) and colon-rectum (27%). The primary tumor was resected in 82 (40%) patients. Metastatic disease was evident at diagnosis in 88% (liver metastases: 67%). Median Ki-67 index was 70% (30% in NET G3 and 80% in NEC; P<0.001). Median overall survival (OS) for all patients was 23 (95% CI: 18–28) months and significantly higher in NET G3 (99 vs 17 months in NEC; HR=8.3; P<0.001). Platinum-etoposide first line chemotherapy was administered in 113 (68%) NEC and 12 (32%) NET G3 patients. Disease control rate and progression free survival (PFS) were significantly higher in NEC compared to NET G3 (P<0.05), whereas OS was significantly longer in NET G3 (P=0.003). Second- and third-line therapies (mainly FOLFIRI and FOLFOX) were given in 79 and 39 of NEC patients; median PFS and OS were 3.0 and 7.6 months respectively after second-line and 2.5 and 6.2 months after third-line chemotherapy. In conclusion, NET G3 and NEC are characterized by significant differences in Ki-67 index and outcomes. While platinum-based chemotherapy is effective in NEC, it seems to have limited value in NET G3.