Surgery Improves Patient-Reported Outcomes in Patients with Intestinal and Pancreatic NETs: A Prospective Analysis

Andrew Rosowicz, Venu G. Bangla, James W. Johnson, Laura Olson, Jenny Chen, Celia M. Divino

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Background: Incorporation of patient-reported outcomes such as health-related quality of life has become increasingly important in the management of chronic diseases such as cancer. In this prospective study, we examined the effect of surgical resection on quality of life in patients with intestinal and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). Methods: Thirty-two patients underwent NET resection at our institution from January 2020 to January 2022. All patients completed the 12-item short-form quality-of-life survey prior to surgery, as well as at the 3-, 6-, and 12-month postoperative time points. The presence and severity of specific carcinoid syndrome symptoms (diarrhea, flushing, and abdominal pain) were also recorded during pre- and postoperative appointments. Results: Patients experienced significant increases in both mental and physical health after surgery. Mental health scores significantly increased at all three time points (baseline: 51.33; 3-month: 53.17, p = 0.02; 6-month: 57.20, p < 0.001; 12-month: 57.34, p = 0.002), and physical health scores increased at 6 and 12 months (baseline: 50.39; 6-month: 53.16, p = 0.04; 12-month: 55.02, p = 0.003). Younger patients benefited more in terms of physical health, while older patients had more significant increases in mental health. Patients with metastatic disease, larger primary tumors, and those receiving medical therapy had lower baseline quality-of-life scores and greater improvements after surgery. The vast majority of patients in this study also experienced alleviation of carcinoid syndrome symptoms. Conclusions: In addition to prolonging survival, resection of intestinal and pancreatic NETs leads to significantly improved patient-reported quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Carcinoid syndrome
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Patient-reported outcomes


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