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Open access

Yang Lv, Xu Han, Chunyan Zhang, Yuan Fang, Ning Pu, Yuan Ji, Dansong Wang, Xu Xuefeng and Wenhui Lou


Chromogranin A (CgA) and neuron-specific enolase (NSE) are important markers for neuroendocrine tumors; however, the clinical value of combining these markers has not been well studied. In this study, we investigated the utility of each marker individually and in combination for patients with nonfunctional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NF-pNETs).

Patients and Methods

In this study, NF-pNET patients and controls were recruited from December 2011 to March 2016; 784 serum samples from peripheral vein were collected. The clinical characteristics and biomarker values of all the individuals were recorded and analyzed. Tumor burdens were calculated by CT/MRI scan. Receiver-operating characteristic curves were constructed to assess the diagnostic predictive values; sensitivity and specificity were calculated to determine the cut-off value. Therapeutic responses reflected on the changes of the biomarkers’ concentration were assessed by the RECIST criterion. Clinical relations between the prognosis and the biomarker values were also analyzed. Statistical significance was defined as P value less than 0.05.


Among the 167 NF-pNETs patients, 82 were males (49.1%) and the mean age was 50.0 (17.4). The mean CgA values of G1, G2 and G3 NF-pNENs were 75, 121 and 134 μg/L (P < 0.05), respectively. In NF-pNETs, CgA correlated with the WHO tumor grade (WHO G1 vs G2, P < 0.05); the linear regression relationships were found between the tumor burdens (both in pancreas and liver) and CgA concentration (P < 0.001); changes in CgA and NSE concentrations also reflect treatment response (P < 0.001).


CgA and NSE are important diagnostic and follow-up markers in patients with NF-pNETs. The combined monitoring of CgA and NSE possesses more accuracy than individual values of CgA and NSE at predicting prognosis and disease progression.

Open access

Xu Han, Xuefeng Xu, Hongyun Ma, Yuan Ji, Dansong Wang, Tiantao Kuang, Wenchuan Wu, Bin Song, Gang Li, Gang Jin and Wenhui Lou


Emerging evidence suggests G3 pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (pNENs) present heterogeneous morphology and biology. The 2017 WHO classification has introduced a new category of well-differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (WD-pNETs) G3, compared with poorly differentiated pancreatic neuroendocrine carcinomas (PD-pNECs) G3. We aim to analysis the demographics and outcomes of patients with resectable 2017 WHO G3 pNENs to facilitate the distinction between two entities.


The multi-institutional retrospective cohort involving 57 surgically treated patients affected by 2017 WHO G3 pNENs were morphologically identified and clinically analyzed. Patients having WD-pNETs G3 and those having PD-pNECs G3 were compared.


Thirty patients had WD-pNETs and 27 patients had PD-pNECs. The distributions of Ki-67 and mitotic count in patients with PD-pNECs or WD-pNETs showed remarkable disparities. ROC indicated cut-off value of Ki-67 was 45. PD-pNECs were more common in patients with elevated Ki-67 and mitotic count, advanced AJCC TNM stage, vascular invasion, regional lymph-node metastases, elevated NSE and decreased CgA levels compared with WD-pNETs (P < 0.05). The association between 2017 WHO G3 grade and TTR was statistically significant (P < 0.05). Univariate analysis indicated OS rates were associated with morphologic differentiation (WD-pNETs vs PD-pNECs), Ki-67, TNM staging, synchronous distant metastases, initial treatments, vascular invasion, regional lymph nodes metastases, mitotic count and age (P < 0.05). Multivariate analyses illustrated Ki-67, differentiation, TNM staging and vascular invasion were independent predictors (P < 0.05).


PD-pNECs G3 presented malignant biological behavior and dismal outcome compared with WD-pNETs G3. These findings challenge 2010 WHO classification and suggest the categorization can be improved by refined tumor grading.