BACKGROUND: Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) are rare pancreatic neoplasms. About 40-80% of patients with PNET are metastatic at presentation, usually involving the liver (40-93%). Liver metastasis represents the most significant prognostic factor. The aim of this study is to present an up-to-date review of treatment options for patients with liver metastases from PNETs.
METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed using the PubMed database to identify all pertinent studies published up to May 2018.
RESULTS: The literature search evaluated all the therapeutic options for patients with liver metastases of PNETs, including surgical treatment, loco-regional therapies, and pharmacological treatment. All the different treatment options showed particular indications in different presentations of liver metastases of PNET. Surgery remains the only potentially curative therapeutic option in patients with PNETs and resectable liver metastases, even if relapse rates are high. Efficacy of medical treatment has increased with advances in targeted therapies, such as everolimus and sunitinib, and the introduction of radiolabeled somatostatin analogs. Several techniques for loco-regional control of metastases are available, including chemo- or radioembolization.
CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of patients with PNET metastases should be multidisciplinary and must be personalized according to the features of individual patients and tumors.