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Outcomes of Lymph Node Dissection for Non-metastatic Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: A Propensity Score-Weighted Analysis of the National Cancer Database

Rui Mao MD, Hong Zhao MD, Kan Li PhD, Sheng Luo PhD, Megan Turner MD, Jian-Qiang Cai MD, Dan Blazer III MD
Endocrine Tumors
Volume 26, Issue 9 / September , 2019



Although the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines recommend use of lymph node dissection (LND) in patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) > 2 cm, there is limited evidence to support the association between use of LND and overall survival (OS).


Patients with resected pNETs were identified in the National Cancer Database (2004–2014). The inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) method was used to reduce the selection bias. IPTW-adjusted Kaplan–Meier curves and Cox proportional hazards models were used to compare OS of patients in different treatment groups.


A total of 2664 patients diagnosed met the study entry criteria. Of these, 2132 patients (80.6%) received LND, with a median of nine nodes removed. Positive nodes were identified in 28.0% of patients who underwent LND. IPTW-adjusted Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that median OS was similar between the LND and LND-omitted groups (152.8 vs. 147.3 months; p = 0.61). In IPTW-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression analysis, LND was not associated with an OS benefit (hazard ratio [HR] 1.15, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.94–1.42; p = 0.18). The results were consistent across subgroups stratified by clinical T and N stages. Among patients with lymph node metastasis, the number of removed nodes (NRN) above the median was not associated with an improved OS (HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.60–1.13; p = 0.22).


LND had no additional therapeutic benefit among patients undergoing resection for pNETs. The present findings should be considered when managing patients with resectable pNETs.

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