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Pancreas. 2005 Apr;30(3):218-22.

Renal cancer cell metastasis into the pancreas: a single-center experience and overview of the literature.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.



The pancreas is a rare target for metastasis from other primary cancers, but pancreatic metastasis play a role in the diagnostic workup of patients with pancreatic tumors, especially in patients with a history of renal cell carcinoma (RCC).


Between October 2001 and June 2004 data from 601 patients undergoing pancreatic resection were entered prospectively in a database and were analyzed for metastasis into the pancreas from RCC.


Fifteen patients with metastasis to the pancreas from RCC were identified. One patient showed metastatic disease at time of primary diagnosis. In 8 patients, the pancreas was the only site of metastasis, whereas in 7 patients, other organs, such as the thyroid gland, the lung, or the liver, were targets of metastasis, either metachronous or simultaneous at the time of pancreatic metastasis. The median interval between primary treatment of RCC and occurrence of pancreatic metastasis was 86 months (range, 0-258). Most patients were asymptomatic and diagnosed during standard tumor follow-up. So far, 14 patients remain alive with a median follow-up of 10 months.


Pancreatic metastasis from RCC is rare but can occur even more than 20 years after primary tumor manifestation. Our results show that pancreatic resections for metastasis can be performed safely with a low rate of complications. Patients with a history of RCC should undergo a long-term follow-up to detect and evaluate for pancreatic metastases as well for metastasis to other organ sites.

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