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International Journal of Hepatology
Volume 2012, Article ID 131659, 8 pages
Review Article

Treatment of Liver Metastases in Patients with Neuroendocrine Tumors of Gastroesophageal and Pancreatic Origin

1Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, NYU Cancer Institute, New York, NY 10016, USA
2Department of General Surgery, NYU Medical Center New York, NY 10016, USA
3Department of Medical Oncology, NYU Cancer Institute, New York, NY 10016, USA

Received 1 August 2011; Revised 16 November 2011; Accepted 4 December 2011

Academic Editor: Wouter de Herder

Copyright © 2012 Ping Gu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Well-to-moderately differentiated neuroendocrine tumors of gastroesophageal and pancreatic origin (GEP-NETs) with liver metastasis are a heterogeneous group of malignancies for which a range of therapeutic options have been employed. Surgical resection of hepatic metastases or hepatic artery embolization may be beneficial in patients with hepatic-predominant metastatic disease. Patients with “carcinoid” syndrome and syndromes associated with functional pancreatic NET (PNET) can be effectively treated with somatostatin analogs. On the other hand, the efficacy of systemic chemotherapy for these patients is limited. A placebo-controlled, double-blind, prospective, and randomized study showed that octreotide LAR improves progression-free survival in patients with advanced midgut functional “carcinoids.” In patients with advanced pancreatic NET, randomized, placebo-controlled studies have recently demonstrated that treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib or with mTOR inhibitor everolimus is associated with improved progression-free survival. Based on these studies, octreotide LAR, sunitinib, or everolimus are now considered as first-line therapeutic options in patients with advanced NET. Future studies will likely further define the role of these agents in patients with carcinoid liver metastasis and pancreatic NET liver metastasis.