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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 198-202

Clinical and epidemiological profile of neuroendocrine tumors: An experience from a regional cancer center from Western India

Department of Medical and Pediatric Oncology, Gujarat Cancer Research Institute, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Asha S Anand
Department of Medical and Pediatric Oncology, Gujarat Cancer Research Institute, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sajc.sajc_364_18

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Background: Most of the data on neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) are from the Western literature. Indian studies regarding clinicopathological characteristics and treatment outcomes are lacking. Methods: This is a prospective observational study of all new patients with NETs (except small-cell lung cancer) registered at our tertiary care cancer institute from November 2014 to November 2016. A total of 97 new patients were registered, of which 20 were lost to follow-up before starting any planned treatment. Epidemiological and clinicopathological features of all these 97 patients were studied, and the remaining 77 patients were analyzed for treatment response and survival analysis. Results: The median age at diagnosis was 49 years (20–74 years) with male preponderance (M: F = 1.85:1). The most common primary site of origin was pancreas (34/97 = 35%), followed by unknown primary origin (19%), small intestine (9%), and pulmonary (6%). Of 97 patients, 91 (93.8%) presented with nonfunctional symptoms, 3 (3.1%) had purely functional symptoms, and 3 (3.1%) presented with both functional and nonfunctional symptoms. The most common presenting symptom was abdominal pain (59.7%), followed by jaundice (9.3%), whereas watery diarrhea (83.3%) and flushing (66.7%) were the most common functional symptoms. Sixty-six percent (64/97) of cases were metastatic at presentation. A strong correlation was noted between the primary site of origin and metastatic presentation (P = 0.016). Chemotherapy was the most common primary therapy (40.2%), followed by surgery (28.6%), watchful waiting (15.6%), and somatostatin analogs (11.7%). The median event-free survival was highest for patients undergoing surgery (10 months). Conclusions: The clinicopathological profile of NETs in the Indian population differs from Western countries. Majority of patients present with metastatic disease, thus representing a need for creating awareness among patients and medical fraternity and formulating Indian guidelines for optimized treatment.

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