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Endoscopic and Surgical Treatment of Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine Neoplasms: A Population-based Comparative Study.

BACKGROUND: Controversy surrounds the indications for endoscopic treatment (ET) versus surgery in addressing gastrointestinal neuroendocrine neoplasms (GI-NENs). This paper aims to compare the long-term survival prognosis between ET and surgery for patients with GI-NENs.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis of GI-NEN patients diagnosed between 2000 and 2020 was conducted using the SEER database. Overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Prognostic factors were assessed through univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses. Propensity score matching (PSM) was employed to adjust for clinical variables.

RESULTS: This study encompassed 12,016 patients with GI-NENs, with 3732 patients (31.1%) undergoing ET and 8284 patients (68.9%) opting for surgery. The rectum was the most frequent location for ET, while the small bowel was the predominant site for surgery. Both the ET and surgical groups exhibited similar overall survival risk and cancer-specific survival risk before and after matching. No significant differences in the 1-year, 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year OS and CSS rates were observed between the ET and surgery groups after PSM. Nevertheless, subgroup analysis revealed a significantly better CSS in the ET group than the surgery group, particularly in stage I and tumors sized <10mm (P<0.01). In the colon subgroup, the OS and CSS of the ET group were superior to those of the surgery group (P<0.05).

CONCLUSION: Endoscopic treatment and surgery demonstrate comparable long-term survival prognoses for treating GI-NENs. ET emerges as a viable option for patients averse to surgical interventions.

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