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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 308-315

Neuroendocrine neoplasms in rare locations: Clinicopathological features and review of the literature

1 Department of Surgical Pathology, Clínico San Carlos Hospital, Madrid, Spain
2 Department of Oncology, Clínico San Carlos Hospital, Madrid, Spain
3 Department of Endocrinology, Clínico San Carlos Hospital, Madrid, Spain

Correspondence Address:
Cristina Díaz del Arco
Department of Surgical Pathology, Clínico San Carlos Hospital, Martín Lagos, s/n, 28040 Madrid
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_446_17

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Introduction: Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) occur more often in lungs, gastrointestinal tract, or pancreas. Data about terminology and grading of NETs in rare locations are scarce and variable, and they have been reported mainly as case reports. Materials and Methods: We here describe our experience with NETs in unusual locations. We have reviewed all NETs diagnosed in our institution and summarized their clinicopathological features. We have also reviewed the literature and discussed the main characteristics of NETs in each site. Results: Two hundred and forty-three primary NETs were diagnosed. About 55.2% of patients were men and the mean age was 62 years. About 90.7% of NETs were located in lungs, gastrointestinal tract, or pancreas, and 50.8% of them were low-grade tumors. We identified 13 NETs in rare locations: breast, ovary, endometrium, vulva, uterine cervix, extrahepatic biliary tract, kidney, sinonasal tract, and thymus. Three additional tumors were diagnosed by the senior author in other institution. Patients were asymptomatic or presented with nonspecific symptoms. All NETs were treated with surgery and 31% of patients received adjuvant therapy. There were 10 Grade 3 (62.5%), 2 Grade 2 (12.5%), and 4 Grade 1 (25%) tumors. Mean follow-up was 72 months. About 60% of G3 tumors recurred or progressed. G2 tumors were located in breast, and both patients are stable. About 50% of G1 tumors recurred or progressed (both renal NETs). Conclusions: NETs in rare locations are heterogeneous, and their behavior does not seem to correlate absolutely with tumor grade. More studies are needed to clarify the role of proliferation rate in these tumors.

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