European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery : official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery

Clinical management of atypical carcinoid and large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma: a multicentre study on behalf of the European Association of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) Neuroendocrine Tumours of the Lung Working Group†.

PMID 25406425


In 2012, the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons (ESTS) created the Lung Neuroendocrine Tumors Working Group (NETs-WG) with the aim to develop scientific knowledge on clinical management of such rare neoplasms. This paper outlines the outcome and prognostic factors of two aggressive NETs: atypical carcinoids (ACs) and large-cell neuroendocrine carcinomas (LCNCs). Using the ESTS NETs-WG database, we retrospectively collected data on 261 patients in seven institutions in Europe, between 1994 and 2011. We used a Cox regression model to evaluate variables affecting patient survival and disease-free survival. Univariate and multivariate analysis were also carried out. Five-year overall survival rates for ACs and LCNCs were 77 vs 28% (P < 0.001), respectively. We found that for ACs, age (P < 0.001), tumour size (P = 0.015) and sub-lobar surgical resection (P = 0.005) were independent negative prognostic factors; for LCNCs, only pTNM stage III tumours (P = 0.016) negatively affected outcome in the multivariate analysis. Local recurrences and distant metastases developed in 93 patients and were statistically more frequent in LCNCs (P = 0.02). The biological aggressiveness of ACs and LCNCs has been demonstrated with this study. Our aim is to confirm these results with enhanced data collection through the ESTS NETs database.