New Nodal Staging for Primary Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: A Multi-institutional and National Data Analysis

Xu Feng Zhang, Feng Xue, Ding Hui Dong, Alexandra G. Lopez-Aguiar, George Poultsides, Eleftherios Makris, Flavio Rocha, Zaheer Kanji, Sharon Weber, Alexander Fisher, Ryan Fields, Bradley A. Krasnick, Kamran Idrees, Paula M. Smith, Cliff Cho, Megan Beems, Yi Lv, Shishir K. Maithel, Timothy M. Pawlik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objective:To determine the prognostic role of metastatic lymph node (LN) number and the minimal number of LNs for optimal staging of patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs).Background:Prognosis relative to number of LN metastasis (LNM), and minimal number of LNs needed to evaluate for accurate staging, have been poorly defined for pNETs.Methods:Number of LNM and total number of LN evaluated (TNLE) were assessed relative to recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) in a multi-institutional database. External validation was performed using Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry.Results:Among 854 patients who underwent resection, 233 (27.3%) had at least 1 LNM. Patients with 1, 2, or 3 LNM had a comparable worse RFS versus patients with no nodal metastasis (5-year RFS, 1 LNM 65.6%, 2 LNM 68.2%, 3 LNM 63.2% vs 0 LNM 82.6%; all P < 0.001). In contrast, patients with ≥4 LNM (proposed N2) had a worse RFS versus patients who either had 1 to 3 LNM (proposed N1) or node-negative disease (5-year RFS, ≥4 LNM 43.5% vs 1-3 LNM 66.3%, 0 LNM 82.6%; all P < 0.05) [C-statistics area under the curve (AUC) 0.650]. TNLE ≥8 had the highest discriminatory power relative to RFS (AUC 0.713) and OS (AUC 0.726) among patients who had 1 to 3 LNM, and patients who had ≥4 LNM in the multi-institutional and SEER database (n = 2764).Conclusions:Regional lymphadenectomy of at least 8 lymph nodes was necessary to stage patients accurately. The proposed nodal staging of N0, N1, and N2 optimally staged patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E28-E35
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • lymph node status
  • neuroendocrine tumor
  • pancreas
  • prognosis
  • surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'New Nodal Staging for Primary Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: A Multi-institutional and National Data Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this