Background: Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs) may evolve and cause hormonal hypersecretion–related symptoms that were not present at the initial diagnosis, termed metachronous hormonal syndromes (MHSs). Their setting, characteristics, and outcomes are not well-described.
Objective: To describe MHSs in patients with sporadic PNETs.
Design: Retrospective, multicenter study.
Setting: 4 French referral centers.
Patients: Patients with PNETs who developed MHSs related to hypersecretion of insulin, gastrin, vasoactive intestinal peptide, or glucagon between January 2009 and January 2014.
Measurements: Tumor extension, biological markers, and treatments at initial PNET diagnosis and MHS onset. Pathologic specimens were evaluated centrally, including Ki-67 index and hormone immunolabeling.
Results: Of 435 patients with PNETs, 15 (3.4%) were identified as having MHSs involving the hypersecretion of insulin (5 patients), vasoactive intestinal peptide (5 patients), gastrin (2 patients), or glucagon (4 patients). Metachronous hormonal syndromes developed after a median of 55 months (range, 7 to 219) and in the context of PNET progression, stability, and tumor response in 8, 6, and 1 patients, respectively. The median Ki-67 index was 7% (range, 1% to 19%) at PNET diagnosis and 17.5% (range, 2.0% to 70.0%) at MHS onset. Immunolabeling of MHS-related peptides was retrospectively found in 8 of 14 of pathologic PNET specimens obtained before MHS diagnosis. Median survival after MHS onset was 28 months (range, 3 to 56). Seven patients with MHSs died during follow-up, all due to PNETs, including 4 patients with insulin-related MHSs.
Limitation: Retrospective data collection and heterogeneity of pathologic specimen size and origin.
Conclusion: Metachronous hormonal syndromes were identified more often in the context of PNET progression and increased Ki-67 indices. Patients with insulin-related MHSs may have decreased survival rates.
Primary Funding Source: None.