Long-Term Natural Course of Small Nonfunctional Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors in MEN1-Results From the Dutch MEN1 Study Group

Carolina R C Pieterman, Joanne M de Laat, Jos W. R. Twisk, Rachel S van Leeuwaarde, Wouter W de Herder, Koen M A Dreijerink, Ad R M M Hermus, Olaf M Dekkers, Anouk N van der Horst-Schrivers, Madeleine L Drent, Peter H Bisschop, Bastiaan Havekes, Inne H M Borel Rinkes, Menno R Vriens, Gerlof D Valk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (pNETs) are highly prevalent in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), and metastatic disease is an important cause of MEN1-related mortality. Especially small nonfunctional (NF) pNETs pose a challenge to the treating physician and more information is needed regarding their natural course. We assessed longterm natural history of small NF-pNETs and its modifiers in the Dutch MEN1 population. Patients and Methods: Retrospective longitudinal observational cohort study of patients with small (,2 cm) NF-pNETs from the Dutch national MEN1 database, which includes .90% of the Dutch MEN1 population. Modifiers of long-term natural course were analyzed using linear mixed-models analysis. Results: Growth rate of the 115 included small NF-pNETs from 99 patients was slow (0.4 mm/y; 95% confidence interval, 0.15 to 0.59). Seventy percent of the tumors was stable and a subgroup of 30% of the tumors was growing (1.6 mm/y; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 2.0). No differences in clinical characteristics were identified between growing and stable tumors. Within the subgroup of growing tumors, germline missense mutations were significantly associated with accelerated growth compared with nonsense and frameshift mutations. Conclusion: The majority of small NF-pNETs are stable at long-term follow-up, irrespective of the underlying MEN1 genotype. A subgroup of tumors is slowly growing but cannot be identified on clinical grounds. In this subgroup, tumors with missense mutations exhibited faster growth. Additional events appear necessary for pNETs to progress. Future studies should be aimed at identifying these molecular driving events, which could be used as potential biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3795-3805
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Journal Article


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