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Open Access Research article

Clinical, pathological and prognostic characteristics of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms in China: a retrospective study

Xianbin Zhang1, Li Ma2, Haidong Bao1, Jing Zhang1, Zhongyu Wang1 and Peng Gong1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, the First Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Zhongshan Road No. 222, Dalian 116011, Liaoning Province, China

2 Department of Epidemiology, Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116044, Liaoning Province, China

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BMC Endocrine Disorders 2014, 14:54  doi:10.1186/1472-6823-14-54

Published: 8 July 2014



Gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (GEP-NENs) are rare neuroendocrine tumors, and lack of data in Asian populations especially in China. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the clinical, pathological and prognostic characteristics of GEP-NENs in China.


We collected clinical and pathological data of 168 patients diagnosed with GEP-NENs and treated at the First and Second Affiliated Hospitals of Dalian Medical University between January 2003 and December 2012. Kaplan-Meier method and log rank analysis was used to analyze the prognostic significance of clinical and pathological characteristics.


Mean age was 51.83 ± 14.03 and the male-to-female ratio was 1.5:1. Primary sites were the rectum (58.93%), pancreas (13.69%), stomach (9.52%), duodenum (5.36%), colon (4.76%), appendix (4.76%), ileum (2.38%) and jejunum (0.60%). Most patients (95.83%) presented non-functional tumors with non-specific symptoms such as abdominal or back pain (29.17%) and gastrointestinal bleeding (25.60%). Based on the 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) classification, patients were diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumor (NET) (24.40%) or neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) (7.14%). The estimated mean survival was 8.94 ± 0.28 years (95% CI: 8.40-9.48). Male gender, young age, small tumor size and NET tumor type were favorable prognostic factors.


Chinese GEP-NENs patients present characteristics that are similar to American and European patients. However, there is an urgent need to establish a national database for understanding the clinical and epidemiological features of GEP-NENs in China.

Neuroendocrine neoplasms; Carcinoma; Epidemiology; China