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Gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumor with unresectable liver metastases: an example of multimodal therapeutic approach

Jorge Martínez, Santiago Besa, Juan P. Arab, Juan C. Quintana, Carlos Regonesi, Alvaro Huete, Nicolás Jarufe, Juan F. Guerra, Carlos Benítez, Marco Arrese


Gastrointestinal neuroendocrine tumors (NET) frequently present with unresectable hepatic metastases, which poses a barrier for curative treatment. Resection of the primary tumor and subsequent orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) has been proposed as a treatment approach but available data in this regard is limited. We present a clinical case of an otherwise asymptomatic 44-yo man complaining of abdominal pain and dyspepsia that was diagnosed of a 10 cm duodenal tumor with multiple hepatic metastases. A CT-guided biopsy confirmed a NET. He underwent first a Whipple’s procedure, and then was listed for liver transplantation. During the waiting time a multimodal therapeutic approach was used including the use of radioactive 177lutetium-labeled somatostatin analogues, long-acting somastostatin analogues and antiangiogenic antibodies (bevacizumab) in order to keep neoplastic disease under control. Two years after Whipple’s procedure and given disease stability he underwent OLT with an uneventful postoperative evolution. Patient condition and graft function are optimal after a 4-year follow-up period with no evidence of recurrence. This case report underscores how a multimodal approach involving careful patient selection, resective surgery as well as use of somatostatin analogues and antiangiogenic biological therapy followed by liver transplantation can achieve excellent long-term results in this difficult patient population.

Key words. Neuroendocrine tumors., Liver transplantation., Liver metastases.

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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